Leaders of Buhweju and Kamwenge districts are growing wary of increased pollution of the environment by foreign mining companies something they say is endangering both humans and wild life.
While speaking to ChimpReports today Hon. Abbas Agaba the Kitagwenda Member of Parliament accused a Chinese gold mining firms (which he didn’t name) of wantonly discharging mineral waste into the river system something he says is putting human lives at stake and endangering wildlife species.
“I went there and saw the Chinese who are there at the mines they are really putting Uganda at a big risk. I think they just don’t care how people are affected by their activities”, he explains.
He says this has not been helped by isolated mining activities in Ibanda district. As a result, he says this waste laden with soil and chemicals such as mercury flows all the way from Buhweju, Irimya village in Ibanda district through Kyendangara in Kitagwenda County all the way to Lake George. As such he tasked responsible authorities to ensure that such mining activities do not affect locals.
“Whether the mines belong to God or who, we need clean and safe water for people to drink and use. It is a river that goes through the park, what about those animals in the park; the elephants what do they take? So people should be careful and cautious. They should have some reasonability”, Agaba further narrates.
From his own assessment, he says that Water at Mahyoro landing site, has started to change its color something that is only dangerous to humans but also Lake Species such as Fish and Hippopotami.
On whether he has taken deliberate steps to have this problem sorted, Agaba says that he has talked to the responsible ministries all in vain.
Asked on whether he is aware of such activities in his area, Hon. Francis Mwijukye the Buhweju County MP consented. That said, Mwijukye admitted that he has found it hard to bring mining companies in line largely due to political bureaucracy.
He however opined that unless a comprehensive mining policy is developed, such environmental concerns are not about to end.
Our efforts to talk to National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) senior publicist Mr. Tonny Acidria were futile as he could not pick our calls.