Factory Closed Over Air Pollution

James Bond Kunobera, the Nakasongola Environment Inspector says that they engaged the company leadership to take some mitigation measures in vain.
The Ugaply Industry chimney producing smoke that has caused discomfort in Nakasongola town council

Audio 2

Nakasongola authorities have closed Ugaply Industry Limited following protests by residents over air pollution. Recently, more than 180 residents rose up in arms against the factory for alleged environmental pollution. The residents petitioned the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA and Ephraim Kamuntu, the Water and Environment Minister to take action against the factory.

Sunday Rodgers Bwanga, the lead petitioner claimed that as a result of the uncontrolled discharge of the smoke by the company many residents were suffering from massive breathing problems, irritation and poor visibility among others.

Bwanga also claimed that the heavy smoke had greatly affected patients at the nearby Bulamu Medical Center. He claimed that their pleas to the district had yielded nothing, and asked the NEMA and the minister to close the factory or relocate it to another area. Ugaply Industry Limited is located in the center of Nakasongola town council. James Bond Kunobera, the Nakasongola Environment Inspector says that they engaged the company leadership to take some mitigation measures in vain. 

 James Bond Kunobera says that the district has engaged the directors of the company in dialogues so that they comply with National Environmental Management authority guidelines to regulate their emissions in public in vain. He says that as a result, they resolved to close the company until it puts in place mitigation measures to control air pollution.

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George William Kazibwe, the Nakasongola town council LC 3 Chairperson has welcomed the decision to close the factory. Kazibwe says the pollution from the factory had affected several businesses in the town council. He explains that hotel owners had boycotted paying taxes accusing the town council of failure to act on the emissions.

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However, the directors of Ugaply Industry and workers are protesting the closure of the plant claiming that they have tried their level best to minimize environmental pollution. Ravi Patel, the director Ugaply Industries says the company employs 350 residents with dependants who are going to be affected by the closure. He appeals to the authorities to give some sometime to install a new system to limit the emission. 

Suman Gilder, an accountant at the company says that the company is losing 15 million each day as a result of closure. He has asked the authorities to reopen the factory as they address the concerns of the residents. According to the US Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, exposure to air pollutants may lead to respiratory illness such as allergies, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.