Dozens of residents along Masaka-Kampala highway are battling respiratory and eye infections because of the dust resulting from the road construction works. Reynolds Construction Company is undertaking the construction of Masaka-Kampala Highway. Residents along the 34 KM road stretch between Nyendo to Lukaya are complaining of being exposed to dust caused by the heavy trucks deployed by the contractor.
The most affected areas include Mpugwe, Mukoko, Kasasa, Matanga, Kagugala, Bukulula, Nyendo and Butende trading centers. Dozens of residents have been flocking to Bukulula health center III to seek treatment for eyes and respiratory infections resulting from their exposure to dust. The common infections include irritation in the eyes, cough and flue. Irene Namugwanya, the in charge of Bukulula Health Center III says that they have seen a surge in the number of patients with respiratory infections and allegic reactions over the last two months.
She explains that they have diagnosed 200 adults and 40 children with cough and other respiratory infections since July because of their exposure to dust. Namugwanya also notes that in addition to respiratory infections, dozens of residents are also battling eye irritations. She warns that most of the affected residents are the at risk of developing complete allergic reactions due to continued exposure to dust.
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George William Lubowa, the LC I chairman Kasasa West village in Bukulula Sub County is battling cough and an eye irritation. He claims that about 20 traders have been forced to close their shops because they can no longer stand the heavy dust from the road construction works. Lubowa says that he has also suspended working at his carpentry workshop found at Bukulula trading center. He accuses Reynolds Constructions Company of failing to water the road section under construction to minimize dust, which has become a problem to residents.
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19-year-old Prosy Nassozi is attending to her 2-year-old son who is battling cough. She explains that her son has been sick since last month despite receiving treatment. Nassozi says that her son gets better each time he gets treatment, but gets cough shortly after because of exposure to dust. Sam Kayiwa, a computer technician at Bukulula trading center claims that he has so far lost two CD Roms after they were damaged by dust.
Kayiwa says that he has also been forced to close his businessman until the road construction comes to an end. Efforts by URN to get a comment from Livingston Ssekatugga, the Spokesperson Reynolds Construction Company were futile as he didn’t pick up his phone. But Michael Irringa, an official with RCC told URN that they always water the road sections being worked on.