Kisenyi Leaders Ask Gov't to Contain Sell of Aviation Fuel

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Mariam Kasigwa, the Local Council II Chairperson of Kisenyi II parish, says they are still puzzled how the fuel ends up in Kisenyi.
Joseph Ichumar, a local leader in Kakajo Zone in Kisenyi II speaking to locals during a sensitization seminar on Sunday at Kisenyi II Parish Hall.

Audio 6

The continued supply of Aviation fuel (Benzene) to youths in Kisenyi, one of the biggest slums in Kampala, has raised concern among local leaders.

Benzene fuel is used by air crafts. However, local leaders in Kisenyi, wonder how the fuel ends up on the market in their area and gets in the hands of youths who sniff it reportedly to get high.  

The local leaders say they have sought answers from security agencies on how the fuel ends up in the area but they are yet to get answers. The issue came to the fore during a content sharing café on Active Citizenship organized by Kweeta, a local NGO that advocates for social justice. 

Uganda Radio Network interacted with some of the young people who sniff the fuel. They youths who looked emaciated and were coughing, say they sniff the fuel to forget their problems and pass time. 

One the teenagers told URN that he is fully aware of the health risks involved in the consumption of aviation fuel but he has nothing to do since it helps him forget his troubled past. 

//Cue in: "Siganywa lwakuba njagala

Cue out: …mba mbyelabila."//

"I don't consume Benzene because I want it but because I want to forget my past. I don't want thoughts that worry me. It makes me high. You might be there even if police come you can't run because you be in another world. If during coldness, you can't feel any coldness once you have sniffed it. I have heard it destroys lungs (coughs) but I have to take it to relax my thoughts," he said.

Joseph Ichumar, a local leader in Kakajo Zone in Kisenyi II observes that may young people who sniff the chemical end up emaciated because of loss of appetite. He observes that the consumption of the fuel is becoming rampant and wants government to rein in on those behind its illegal sale to children.

//Cue in: "Of course we know one place…

Cue out: …sort out their selves."//

He says majority of the users sniff the fuel while others drink it.


//Cue in: "Gasinga kuba mu Kisenyi ICue out: …wotandikira."//

"Aviation fuel is largely sold in Kisenyi One, that is where it is distributed to other sellers who extend to most of the slums. Some sniff it while others drink it and those who consume it say it makes them feel high and good, which is really a bad signal to our area and risking their lives," Ichumar.

George Busingye the area defense secretary accuses some security operatives of conniving with the sellers of the fuel, which makes it hard to crack down on the consumption of the illicit substances.


//Cue in: "Abanene bebagasuplyinga…

Cue out: …obuzibu bwetuyina okusinga."//

Mariam Kasigwa, the Local Council II Chairperson of Kisenyi II parish, says they are still puzzled how the fuel ends up in Kisenyi.

//Cue in: "The fuel they use…

Cue out: …they will be alright."//

She says benzene sniffing is common among youth, a thing she blames on the laxity of security at Entebbe.


//Cue in: "Nkubiliza abavubuka okuva…

Cue out: …ngenyonyi bwesituka."//

"I am appealing to our young people in Kisenyi to stop engaging in criminal acts such as consuming substances harmful to their health. The issue of Benzene is common and we wonder how this fuel finds its way here because the consumers are not the ones who bring it," Kasigwa says. 

Carol Bankusha, a social worker and development trainer calls on government to address the issue of unemployment and the state of hopelessness that has forced many young people into drug abuse.

//Cue in: "I have actively worked…

Cue out: …their problems would be solved."//

About Benzene

Benzene is an organic chemical that is colorless with a sweet odor. It is highly flammable, and evaporates quickly when exposed to air.

Studies indicate that when consumed by a human being, benzene can be distributed to the urine, stomach, bile, liver, kidney, abdominal fat, and brain. Inhalation of the chemical can be fatal to humans; death results from central nervous system depression.

Benzene is also known to cause cancer and has toxic effects on the blood and the bone marrow (the soft, inner parts of bones where new blood cells are made). The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and cancers of other blood cells.