The increased distilling of crude waragi along Kiha water stream has raised concern among Masindi and Hoima residents. Kiha water stream starts from Kiryandongo district and snakes through Masindi and Hoima districts to Kafu River.
Some residents in Kisalizi, Bulima, Marongo, Kibaire, Kyamugamba and Kyawinyi villages, which are found in Hoima and Masindi districts, distill alcohol along the stream. Stephen Talemwa, a resident of Kisalizi Village, says waragi distillers dispose their waste directly into the water stream, yet several residents rely on its water for domestic use.
According to Talemwa, this is exposes their lives to infections, since the water from the stream is contaminated. Gilbert Ahaisibwe, a resident of Marongo village, says the water has got a bad odor because of the waste from the alcohol distilling process, adding that they haven't had any fresh air for the last two years.
Ahaisibwe says they have brought the problem to the attention of several officials but nothing has been done. Sarah Nyakato, one of the alcohol distillers confirms they deposit waste directly in the stream since they have nowhere else to dump it.
She asks government to intervene and sensitize them on the proper methods they can use to dispose of the waste so as they can't continue with their business for survival. Oliver Nabukenya, the Masindi District Wetland Officer, told URN she hadn't been able to reach some of the areas because they are hidden.
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Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi LC V Chairperson, says encroaching Kiha water stream are well connected.
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Nebert Wobusobozi, the Commissioner Water Resources in the Water and Environment, has constituted a ten member of committee to ensure Kiha water stream is protected from destruction.
According to Wobusobozi, the committee, which is comprised of the RDCs, CAOs and LC V chairpersons of both districts, is meant to ensure sustainable use of the stream.