By Ambrose Niwagaba Katoto
Residents of Katuugo Village, Kasingo Ward, Hoima West division in Hoima City have expressed dismay at one of their own over allegedly disposing of waste from piggery into their only water source, the Kahogoma water stream.
The Kahogoma, located in Katuugo cell, Kasingo ward, in Hoima West Division, Hoima city, is said to be the source of water for over 400 homesteads from four villages of Kibati II, Kibati I, Katuugo, and Mpaija.
However, Ramadan Byonta Elias, the Katuugo village chairperson and other residents, say about two years ago, Godfrey Galimaka, a Hoima-based businessman established a piggery project of over 1,000 pigs near this water source, which is now discharging waste into the water.
“We use this water for drinking and cooking food, there is a trench that comes from the pigs’ house going down in the water. Sometimes we send children to fetch water and end up bringing water with maggots. We have suffered many diseases”, Mary Gorret Nakarumba a resident said
John Kihyaka, a resident of Katuugo village says although they are not against the project, the stench and the waste being discharged into the water have affected them.
Elias Byonta says that this piggery project is polluting water with unfiltered waste potentially leading to a lot of diseases in the area.
They have asked the proprietor of the project to manage the waste from contaminating their water and polluting the environment with the stench.
The Hoima city environment officer, Ronald Kyamanywa, and Godfrey Basandara, the Kasingo ward town agent, say that the proprietor did not consult them so they didn’t carry out an environmental impact assessment as directed by the government prior to approving operations.
He however said that they are going to write to the proprietor to ensure that he puts better designs to mitigate the smell and avoid contaminating the water.
The officers who managed to reach the proprietor on phone, directed him to establish a lagoon and ponds to ensure the discharged water is pre-treated and meets the national environmental regulations before the operation is closed.
When we contacted on phone, Garimaka said he was aware of the challenges and was in consultation with local authorities on how to address the matter.
Meanwhile, the Katuugo Village chairperson has raised a matter of shortage of clean water in the area to attract the attention of Hoima city authorities and donors to establish for them a borehole and tap water.