KABALE, UGANDA: Residents and environmental activists are up in arms against Sino Minerals Investments, a company mining Iron ore in Buhara sub-county, Kabale district over environmental destruction.
The residents argue that the company has resorted to directly pouring dirty water into a nearby stream and trench. The company is also accused of dumping residues into Kyaase wetland putting resident lives in danger.
Julius Byamukama, a concerned resident of Kyaase village says that when the company started operations, it bought land in the nearby wetland which was turned into a dumping site for the residues. Byamukama says that the residues have blocked water from flowing.
He wants top government officials to intervene and stop the company from dumping contaminated water into the wetland.
Alphonse Begyira, a dairy farmer in Kyaase village says that the company recently drained polluted water into the nearby stream and trenches. He says that because all the waters have changed their color to brown, his cattle can’t consume the dirty water.
Milton Kwesiga, the Executive Director for Disaster Reduction Research and Emergency Missions, a voluntary non-profit organization advocating for environmental protection in the Kigezi sub-region says that dumping residues in the wetland has suffocated fish projects in the area.
Sam Kyomukama, an officer in charge of the Police Protection Unit for the Kigezi region says that they have asked the management of the factory to stop draining polluted water into the stream.
Brian Munanura, Operations Manager for Sino Minerals Investments says that the plant developed a leakage on Sunday when a pipe burst. Munanura however says that efforts are being made to have the problem rectified.
Munanura adds that the company is in a process of buying more pipes so that in case one bursts, it is immediately replaced without causing leakage.
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