Before the pipes begin to flow with oil..

Yusuf Serunkuma and Eria Serwajja’s edited book, Before the First Drop: Oil, capitalists and the wretches of western Uganda is published by Editor House Facility in 2021. This book speaks and develops analyses from the vantage of point of the Uganda oil industry’s directly affected persons in western Uganda.  It is focused on that small window between confirmed economic potential and actual extraction. That is, before the pipes begin to flow with oil.  This window—which has been long for Uganda, with multiple pauses—is defined by anxieties and traumas of preparation, displacement, resettlement, compensation, waiting, speculation, violence, and several often, non-voiced traumas. This is the first book-length publication on the subject that specifically speaks from the vantage of point of the displaced – and develops analyses from these voices without the noise in Kampala.  Focus is given to items such as food, land, compensation itself, the environment, violence that displaced persons suffered, education as schools were closed for years, etc. Their focus is narrow but deep, and is asking questions about the extent of state involvement in the lives of ordinary folks, who tend to be “the first ‘extractions’ from the earth,” but are simply unwanted!  The full interview can be found here:

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