Dr. Willis Syongola the Busia district health officer says 46 from a sample of 159 tested last were found positive for Covid-19 last week respectively. Scared residents want the mine shut down for a while, but deputy RDC says the District Task Force has no power to close it
Residents in Busia district are
demanding for the closure of Wagagai gold mining company after nearly a third of the workers checked tested positive for covid-19.
The said gold mining company has
over 400 workers and occupies more than 2,000 acre of land in
the four villages of; Alupe, Amagoro, Akipenet and Agoriat all in Mawero
parish, Buteba sub county of Busia district.
According to residents, their lives
are at risk to contract with the disease because company management has failed
to isolate covid-19 patients. The patients are left interacting with community
members helping the disease to spread all over the area.
Dr. Willis Syongola the Busia
district health officer in phone interview says that 19 security guards, and 27 casual
laborers tested positive for covid-19 on Tuesday and Saturday last week respectively.
The results were got from 159 samples picked from the workers.
Philip Ekisa, the L.C.1 chairman
Alupe village also in-charge verification of employees in the gold company, says that the delay to isolate the workers puts life of community members at risk to contract with the disease.
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Mary Nabwire, a resident from Alupe
village says they want relevant authorities come up and close the gold mining
company before they all get affected.
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George Onyanga, Sofia Asilo, among
other residents says that they want all workers to be closed within the company
for a given period of time and also government do mass covid-19 testing in the
According to Onyanga, foreign investors in the
area have not minded about the lives of community members.
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Sofia Asilo Appealed to government not to
look only at the money it gets from the company but to be mindful of people's life.
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Paul Kalikwan, the deputy resident district
commissioner says that they don’t have
mandates to close the company as the district task force. He appealed to gold
company management to liaise with the rapid response team to ensure all the
patients are taken to home base care.
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Charles Isabirye, the overall supervisor at Wagagai gold
mining company in a phone interview with our reporter says that the 19 security
guards were taken back to their home districts and the other casual laborers most of whom are from Busia were also dismissed.