Residents of Harugongo Sub County in Kabarole district have raised
concern about the destruction of the environment caused by Pozzolana Mining Companies.
Mining is common in the sub-counties of Harugongo and Kichwamba where mining
companies have set up shop. The companies that are
mining Pozzolana, which is a key ingredient in the manufacture of cement,
include Abasi Balinda Company, Gems International limited, and royal transit
company limited among others.
Germs International was contracted by Hima Cement Factory to
supply Pozzolana to the cement factory located in Kasese.
Residents say that mining activities have put their lives at a
risk due to dust, vibration from machines and flying rocks from sites that have
destroyed their houses.
Christopher Mwesige a resident of Harugongo said that they had
petitioned several offices including the ministry of energy and mineral
development to halt the activities in the sub-county, in vain.
//Cue in: “Pozzolana…
Cue out: “…beneficial to our people”//
Lawrence Tumwesige the head of advocacy at the Rwenzori Anti-Corruption
Coalition says that they have written to the Chief Administrative Officer over concerns
of the residents, but nothing has been done.
//Cue in: it is true the environment…
Cue out: “…measures there are not the same.//
Eunice Kanyiginya the Kabarole District Environment Officer said
she had written to Abasi Balinda to halt the degradation of the environment two
years ago but he has failed to comply.
Richard Rwabuhinga the LCV Chairperson for Kabarole says that site
that they have started investigating the claims by the residents.
“I have held meetings with some of the affected residents but some
of the allegations are not true. Many people are earning money from the Pozzolana
mining,” Rwabuhinga said.
He accused a section of some residents of trying to block the
mining of Pozzolana stones. He asked the worrying parties to dialogue, and
resolve the conflict.
“As district leaders, we are trying to bring all the two sides
together so that they can resolve the conflict. We don't need the mining
activities to be stopped because many of our people depend on the mines for
their daily incomes,” Rwabuhinga said.