Residents of Nyadri sub-county in
Maracha District are worried over the open Rokoze Hill quarry site.
The site was used to extract hardcore,
aggregate, and stone chips by CICO, a Chinese road Construction Company
during the construction of the 92 km Vurra-Arua-Oraba that was completed in
2015. It has since turned into a
man-made lake, posing a risk to the area residents, especially children who are engaged in Quarrying, fishing, and
swimming among others.
Between 2018 and 2020 at least
three people died after drowning in the man-made lake.
Although CICO erected a fence at
the ditch as a temporary measure, the
fence has since been destroyed by unidentified persons, exposing the
residents to greater risks.
Gerald Acema a resident living near the open site says that there is an urgent need for the leaders to intervene now
that the temporary fence has been vandalized.
//Cue in: Three people had..…
Cue out:…stolen by people. ”//
Vincent Drati, the Sub-county Chief Nyadri explains that the continued engagement of the area
residents in activities like fishing and quarrying is putting the
lives of many residents in danger.
//Cue in: Initially that place…..
Cue out:… animals for water. ”//
Richard Wambi, Maracha
District Deputy Chief Administrative officer has condemned the community for
vandalizing the temporary fence. According to Wambi, they are
considering erecting a wall fence as one of the lasting solutions to block people from accessing the site.
//Cue in: The community
Cue out:… solved the problem.”//
Nola Avako, the Environment
officer Maracha District has warned the residents against the practice of vandalizing
the temporary fence.
"The residents of the area
should stop vandalizing the fence at the facility because they are endangering
their own lives," Avako said.
According to the decommissioning
phase conditions set by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for
the site in 2012, CICO was to ensure that the restoration plan is fully adhered
to and implemented upon closure of project activities, including restoring the overburdened site and covering the topsoil.
The plan also tasked CICO to
carry out re-vegetation of the degraded land surfaces by planting native
species of vegetation, so as to control the occurrence of soil erosion in the
project area and to improve the project area aesthetics. But local residents
say this was not achieved.