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Residents Raise Alarm Over Water Filled Pit

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Steven Kavuma, the Namubiru Village Defense Secretary, eight people have since drowned in the dam while trying to swim. He identifies the latest victim as Yasin Adida who drowned on Saturday last week.
Part of the quarry filled with water at Namubiru in Nama Sub County Mukono District

Audio 4

Residents of Namubiru and Kirangira local councils in Nama Sub County in Mukono district are worried about an open water filled pit. 

The pit was excavated by Medarion Quarrying Company, a Chinese firm that started quarrying in the area since 2002.  

However, the company abandoned the quarry two years back without restoring the site. The quarry later turned into a dam after it was filled with rain water. 

The dam, which measures about half an acre, is next to a small pathway residents created as a short cut to Kirangira village. 

The Chinese firm also abandoned some of its equipment at the open site. Steven Kavuma, the Namubiru Village Defense Secretary, eight people have since drowned in the dam while trying to swim.  

He identifies the latest victim as Yasin Adida who drowned on Saturday last week. The other victims are Kiggwe, Joram, Ssemakula and Yonah. 

According to Kawuma, a marine diver who retrieved the body of a bar attendant who committed suicide in the dam in 2015 following a dispute with his boss, said the dam is more dangerous since the water is stagnant.    

He says the land hosting the quarry belongs to Medarion but they have failed to trace its offices to resolve the matter.

Luganda Audio

//Cue in: “Kampuni eno….

Cue out: …”//

Translation

“This company has building barracks in Nakasongola, Jinja and other places. You would see soldiers guarding the place, which made people fear to approach them. You look at them as part of government. We pleaded with our local leaders to intervene and help ensure the place is fenced in vain. The proposal to cover this place may not work since it requires a lot of soil, which is isn’t available.” 

Deogratius Golooba, the Kirangira LC I Chairperson, says the quarry is more dangerous to visitors. He says whenever they see it with clean water compared to that in the lake they are tempted to swim thinking it is shallow only to drown. He appeals to government to intervene since it is hard for them to mobilise the community to hire machinery to cover the pit.

//Cue in: “Ba investor nga…

Cue out: …kitekwa okufiiramu omuntu”//

Translation

“When investors come they should be directed to cover such pits whenever they complete their work. They don’t put any restrictions on them to cover such pits. Our people are dying in this pit each year. Our children know that if they come to this pit they will die but visitors have no idea about the depth of the pit and keep drowning.”  

Harriet Enzaru, a resident of the area says it is now risky to allow her grandchildren to come to her home for holidays because they could join the bandwagon of other children who go for swimming.

 

//Cue in: “Nkubira Gavumenti omulanga…  

Cue out: …njagamba tojja”//  

Marita Nampeera, another resident neighboring the quarry reveals that sometimes especially during weekends youths are heard shouting at the upper part of the quarry claiming to be singing. 

She says the place needs to be fenced off or placed under security control.  

//Cue in: “Naye kyensaba…

Cue out: …baffa bagwawo”//

Fred Bamwiine, the Mukono Resident District Commissioner, says the matter of the open quarry has reached his office. He is planning to visit it to find a lasting solution. 

“If it means forcing the owner of the place to fence it off.  We shall do it. If it needs refilling will also be done but not losing any more life of our people,” Bamwiine said.