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Land use and compensation

EEPCI implemented the Land Use Management Action Plan (LUMAP) in 2007 to ensure that farmers in the oilfield area could sustain their long-term livelihoods while at the same time making it possible for the project to meet land needs as new wells are drilled. The plan outlines a number of action areas to minimize the amount and impact of its land use, provide fair compensation to communities and individuals and restore livelihoods that have been affected by the project’s land use. With additional drilling expected to continue for several years, successful continuation of this program is a priority for the EMP team. 

Individual Compensation

The project’s EMP delineates how all compensation should be conducted. The plan describes how rates should be set and outlines payment procedures, which were carefully designed, with the input of NGOs and the World Bank, to be fair and transparent. The project compensates individual farmers for land use in several ways, including cash, in-kind goods and training.

Additional compensation is provided to the most significantly impacted land users, as measured by a set of socioeconomic indicators, such as the ratio of arable land to the number of dependents in the family. In most cases, this compensation consists of equipment, livestock and agricultural training. Recipients of this type of compensation are tracked over time to make sure the program is effective. These compensation programs are usually sufficient to maintain or enhance the livelihood of most individual  farmers impacted by the project, but in rare cases additional reinforcement, through more equipment or training, may be necessary. In these instances, the project’s socioeconomic team works with the individual to develop a satisfactory solution. Recipients must participate in the process – as this has been shown to be a significant factor in an individual’s success. For example, in order to receive additional equipment, livestock or goods, a farmer may be required to build a shelter to ensure the materials or animals remain in good shape to provide value over the long run.

Nasson Nodjitoloum was significantly impacted when two-thirds of his farmland was needed for oil production operations. He used his financial compensation to support his family, build a home and buy equipment and cows, among other goods. He was also eligible for supplemental compensation, through which he received additional equipment, such as a cart to transport goods to the market, two additional cows and a wheelbarrow. However, it became clear over time that he was in need of additional reinforcement to maintain his livelihood and as a result, he received compensation, additional livestock and equipment. Nasson was required to help build a shelter to keep his new livestock healthy. With the help of reinforcement, Nasson has been able to support his growing family.

Photo — “I did not expect to get reinforcement, so when I received it I was very happy. The bicycle allows my children to travel to school, the grinder helps my wife earn some money and I can rent some of my equipment to my fellow villagers to bring their goods to the market. In the future I want to use my funds to help my children continue to go to school. This will allow them to have a good education.” - Nasson Nodjitoloum, Farmer, Poutouguem Village

Community Compensation

In addition to the various types of individual compensation, the project’s community compensation program offsets land use impacts on towns and villages from production activities that can be harder to quantify than impacts on individuals. The program strengthens these communities and improves quality of life by installing needed infrastructure such as water wells, granaries and schools.

The project uses a formal multi-step participatory process to assess the level of impact and the needs of the community:

  1. Socioeconomic and land use data is continuously collected on all villages near project areas.
  2. Eligible villages are assessed and assigned a level of impact and a site-specific plan is developed.
  3. The community is offered a catalog of choices from which the villagers can discuss and select their options. Depending on its level of eligibility and needs, the community can choose multiple smaller options or select one single larger option. This work is conducted through a local NGO. A company representative attends only the final session to ensure that there is no perception of outside pressure being placed upon the community. Local government representatives are also present during this process to help facilitate the community’s  choice.
  4. Once the community has decided, an agreement is signed, and the project engages a contractor to construct the infrastructure.
  5. A formal handover occurs when the project is complete.

Using this process, EEPCI has completed 169 community compensation projects in the oilfield area and along the pipeline, representing an investment of over 2.5 billion FCFA (over $5 million) into communities in Chad.

Photo — Community compensation projects like this one in Bemira, a village in the OFDA, can have a huge impact on the quality of life by providing clean water. Once the community opted for a water well as their compensation, the project assessed the needs and ultimately allocated two wells to the community.

  • Djimadji Francois, Chief, Bemira l

    “When we were drinking water from the Logone River, we had a continuous problem of people getting sick. We previously received a classroom as compensation from the project. It was very helpful, but the great gift for us was clean water.”

  • Mendelar Emiliene, Bemira I

    “This water is better because it is clean and close. You can see and taste the difference. I am happy that my baby will have this water when he grows up.” 


Compensation paid to individuals for land use in 2014 totaled over 840 million FCFA (over $1.7 million) in cash and/or in-kind payments. Almost 17 billion FCFA ($34 million) in individual compensation for land use has been disbursed since  the project began. Compensation commitments in general have been stable for years at levels well below those from 2000 to 2003, when construction was underway for the central oilfield facilities, the initial oilfield development and the export pipeline system.

Land use footprint in the oilfield development area

EMP compensation programs 

All land users and villages are compensated according to the EMP.

Since construction began in 2000, the project has compensated over 17,350 individual land users for more than 7,662 hectares of land in 480 villages along the entire length of the project from the oilfields in Komé, Chad, to Kribi, Cameroon.

The project has utilized at one time or another about 4.6% of the 100,000 hectares of land in the OFDA. When all temporary construction use land has been returned, the percentage of use will be just 1.9% of the 100,000 hectares.

Compliance with the EMP compensation requirements has been documented in these Project Update Reports and by the World Bank’s External Compliance Monitoring Group and International Advisory Group. A set of principles set out in the EMP have guided the compensation effort, including:

  • A transparent compensation procedure so that all village residents can see that no one resident is gaining an advantage over others.
  • Sensitivity to cultural practices and local legal requirements. In Chad and Cameroon, nearly all land is legally owned by the state. Most land upon which people have settled is controlled by each village and allocated by its local chief. Rather than owning land as is common in Europe and North America, people here are entitled only to land usage rights. The project therefore does not buy land but compensates farmers and others for project impacts such as lost crop opportunities.
  • The recording of all compensation transactions. Each payment is archived with a photo of the transaction and the recipient’s thumb print.
  • Avoiding or minimizing resettlement of households through redesign of the project’s land needs and by offering two resettlement alternatives: improved agriculture training and off-farm employment training.