Tension is high among residents and authorities of Koch Goma Sub County in Nwoya district due to the suspected poisoning of Ayago stream, a tributary of the River Nile.
According to the residents, the color of the water turned from clear to black last week. This was followed by the death of numerous fish triggering fears among residents and local authorities.
Ayago stream is the main source of water for residents of Lapem, Te Lagoba, Lapem Pida, Ayago Store, Coo Rom, and Lanyoro villages as well as staff of Bukona Agro Processors Limited Factory. It flows to Murchison National Falls Game Park through the River Nile through the Murchison Falls where it used to water wildlife.
Pauline Odong, the Coorom Parish councilor told URN that she also witnessed the strange color of the water and the death of the fish before receiving complaints from the residents.
She says that they initially thought that the change in color and death of fish could have resulted from the disposal of toxic waste from Bukona Agro Processors Limited factory, which is located in the area.
Odong however, says that they carried out an inspection and ruled out the possibility of contamination from the factory.
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Francis Ojok, the Koch Goma Sub County LC III Chairperson, says that he also received concerns about the suspected water poisoning and death of fish last week and informed the district leadership to conduct a test since water from the river is consumed by hundreds of people
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David Onguti, the Nwoya district workers` representative and an environmentalist, says that they have picked samples from the stream for testing. Emmanuel Orach, the Nwoya district LC V chairperson told URN that no fatality cases or health complications have been reported but they commenced investigations into the matter.
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Pravin Kekhal, the Executive Director of Bukona Agro Processor Limited which lies along the Ayago stream, says that he will construct two water pipes in the neighboring areas to help the community easily access clean water.