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Wakiso Residents Raise Concerns over Influx of Fuel Stations

Zamu Kyeyune, councillor representing Nabweru, says many of the fuel stations being set up in the area are violating several regulations.
One of the new fuel stations set up along Hoima road.

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Authorities and residents in Wakiso District have raised concerns over the unregulated fuel stations cropping up in the area.

Currently, the areas of Kyengera Town Council, Nansana Municipality and Wakiso Sub Counties are experiencing an influx of fuel stations constructed along the gateway to the city. 

The influx comes at the time when Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA sets to regulate the countless number and proximity of fuel stations in the city.

Peter Kauju, KCCA spokesperson, says that the authority has halted issuing any new licenses for fuel operators within the city and also don’t intend to renew some licenses.

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Zamu Kyeyune, councillor representing Nabweru, says many of the fuel stations being set up in the area are violating several regulations.

“Another concern is over the proximity of these fuel stations. They being set up too close to each other and too close amid the residential areas which is also against the regulations,” Kyeyune says. 

According to Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) guidelines, a fuel station must be located at least 1,000 metres away from another. However, Just in Nansana Municipality over 10 fuel stations are currently being constructed adding to the existing ones.

Alex Kamya, resident of Nansansa, argues that most of these fuel stations have been set up in eco-sensitive areas such as wetlands risking water pollution.

“Authorities should handle the matter before it becomes worse, many people use the water from these wetlands in Wakiso more so Lubigi but it is now exposed to pollution. With time this might turn into a disaster. “says Kamya.

Different research published in the Journal of Environmental Management, indicate that fuel stations poses high threats for water and air pollution by emissions stemming from evaporated vehicle fuels. This includes un-burnt fuel from fuel loading and unloading operations, refuelling and liquid spillages.   

However, some authorities of Wakiso Sub County and Kyengera Town Council have blamed the problem to Ministry of Energy which licenses the fuel stations. 

The director of the Directorate of Petroleum at the Energy Ministry Honey Malinga says although the ministry is mandated to license the fuel stations, they depend on several requirements among which are approvals from the local governments. 

“Many people have always raised these concerns, which are actually genuine, but the blame shouldn’t be put on the Ministry. The ministry issues the license after accessing documents submitted including building plans from local government and environment impact assessment from NEMA,” says Malinga 

The Nansana Municipal Town Clerk Jimmy Ambrose Atwoko says that the municipality is trying to forge a way forward in the wake of increasing demand for operating licenses for fuel stations.

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However, Jude Mark Bukenya the Wakiso Deputy Chief Administrative Officer says that sometimes they have nothing to do because many of the fuel stations are owned by high profile individuals.

“As much as we would like to enforce the regulations to the dot, some of these fuel stations are owned by ‘big’ people who influence the processes like the environment impact assessment among others,” says Bukenya 

He, however, adds that amid the said challenge they are willing to look into the matter and are planning to meet the lower administrative

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