The Great African Rip-Off
As Russian and American oil companies stream into a new energy hotspot, most residents of rural Uganda are left with only broken promises and degraded land.
Photos by Dana Ullman
“I am a refugee in my own country,” says Betty Pascal, forty-two, her dull and listless eyes revealing only exhaustion, physically and spiritually. She sits in front of her family’s makeshift home, a tent-like structure made from grass and sticks, covered with a white tarp that seems insufficient for the heavy rains of the season.
Pascal, along with at least 200 others from Rwamutonga, a rural village in Western Uganda, has been homeless for almost a year, displaced with nothing but the clothing on their backs. They are now living on a hill overlooking their former home — which is now destroyed, the land fenced off and patrolled by private security.