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Open Ditches Worry Kabarole Residents

The ditches where pozzolana was extracted have turned into man-made lakes in the area. They are also breeding places for mosquitoes and a death trap for residents, especially children.
06 Jul 2022 20:25

Audio 4

Residents of Harugongo sub-county in Kabarole District are worried over the open murram ditches in the area.    The affected villages include Kanyatete, Kakundwa Harugongo, and Kyakaigo.

The ditches where pozzolana was extracted have turned into man-made lakes in the area.  They are also breeding places for mosquitoes and a death trap for residents, especially children.  

In 2018 Hima Cement Factory contracted Royal Transit company GEMs international, and other companies to supply Pozzolana.  The companies brought heavy equipment and started excavating pozzolana from Harugongo and Kichwamba sub-counties.

But the companies did not restore the affected areas after excavating the Pozollana.

Residents are concerned that the open ditches are posing risk to the children of Harugongo Primary School.

John Kagaba the area LCI Chairperson of Harugongo village says that ditches are becoming a hideout for criminals in the area.  He adds that there are fears that people will fall into the ditches and drown.

//Cue in ; hawaaizire kwiha …

Cue out:kurugi //

Christopher Kagaba, another resident says that they have informed the sub-county and district officials to intervene, in vain. He says that the open ditches have made the soils soft making the area susceptible to flooding especially when it rains.     

//Cue in as concerned citizens…

Cue out: Kichwamba sub-county” //

Godfrey Musumba the LCIII Chairperson of Harugongo Sub County, says that the majority of the open ditches are on land that was leased to the companies by individuals. He says that the land owners should task the companies to cover the ditches.

Eunice Kanyiginya the Kabarole District Environment Officer says her office is aware of the complaints and there are plans to restore one of the most affected areas in Kyakaigo Parish.

Kanyiginya says her office will ensure the destroyed areas are restored to enable the land to become useful and productive for agriculture.  

In May, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity Rose Akello ordered the District Environment office to ensure that the open ditches are restored. She was responding to complaints from residents about environmental degradation in the area.