By Faustine Odeke
THE exploration for phosphate in Tororo district has started after investors began paying sh1m to every land owner in the affected 26.5 square kilometres area in Osukuru and Rubongi sub-counties as a token of appreciation.
The Government, in September 2013, entered into a joint venture with China’s Guangzhou Dongsong Energy group to implement a $560m Osukuru phosphate project.
The company is registered in Uganda as Uganda Hui Neng Mining Ltd.
This current works follows the decision by the investors to establish an operation camp in the area so as to easily interact with the locals.
The camp construction work being undertaken by Ochoda Enterprises at a cost of sh700m is expected to be complete by the end January.
John Dambio, the company managing director, says the scope of work includes setting up a platform for six houses, a perimeter wall, opening up a road network and connecting a water and lighting system.
Juliet Omalla, the human resource manager, said the final structures will be set up by a Chinese firm using imported pre-fabricated houses which will be installed within 18 days.
Omalla said they have already finished the topography survey and are currently conducting geological survey whose samples are being taken to China to establish the quality and quantity of the minerals in the area.
She said the survey will be conducted in the next three years before they apply for a mining lease.
The district chairman, Emmanuel Osuna, said the district leadership is proud of the achievements so far and called for cooperation between the community and the investors.
He requested the investors to employ people and contractors from the area so that they can embrace the project as their own.
He thanked the district police commander for providing security in the area even at the time when the investors first met resistance.