• No_Ads
Health
Alcohol contaminates Masindi water sourcesPublish Date: Jan 30, 2014
Alcohol contaminates Masindi water sources
  • mail
  • img
Local gin being brewed on the banks of Kiiha River
newvision

By Robert Atuhairwe and Geoffrey Mutegeki

River Kiiha, the main source of water for residents of Bwijanga sub-county in Masindi district, is being polluted by alcohol distilleries in the area.


The river on the Hoima-Masindi road is surrounded by a swamp, which has partly dried up due to the intense activity in the area. An estimated 600 gin distillers are camped about 200 metres from the river.

River Kiiha flows through the villages of Kisalizi, Kibaire, Bulindi, Bulima, Marongo, Kyawinyi and Kyabanati in Masindi as well as some parts of Hoima district.

Residents have asked local authorities to intervene to mitigate the effects of alcohol production in the area. Jane Kaahwa, a roadside vendor at Kisalizi Market which is near the distillery, said the residue from the crude distilleries have given the water a yellowish colour and a foul stench.

“We used to fetch and boil the water for drinking since other safe water sources are far, but today you cannot use the water because the stench is unbearable. We are now forced to walk long distances if we are to get water for home use,” she said.

Peter Isingoma, the co-ordinator of Kiiha-Kachukura Wetlands Conservation Association (KIKAWECA), a local NGO operating in the area to save the river from degradation, said the effluent from the distilleries directly affects the ecosystem.

He said their organisation is engaged in sensitising the community against destructive distilling methods, but called on the Government to clamp down the practice since they do not have the enforcement mandate.

James Makuru, a resident, said issuing warnings to the environmental degraders without action by local leaders was prompting others to join the trade.

The distillers, he said, pay rent to operate on the land without remitting revenues to the Government. Henry Muganyizi, the Bwijanga sub-county chairman, said despite conservation laws, locals are caught up in a cycle of poverty which makes them desperate to do anything for survival.

He said there was need for the distillers to conduct their business in an environment-friendly manner since it is a source of livelihood for many people in the area. William Nsimire, the Masindi district environmental officer, said once they get resources, they will sort out the polluters with the help of the environmental Police.

 “We are conducting sensitisation on the best options and developing a wetland management plan to save the situation,” he added.

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
11 districts for Hepatitis B vaccination
Government has earmarked $11m (about sh2.7b) to conduct immediate massive vaccination in 11 districts....
Mulago Hospital medical interns call off strike
Mulago Hospital student medical doctors have called off a strike and returned to their duty stations....
Children with abnormalities overwhelm medics
Over 100 children in Teso sub-region have benefited from free surgeries at Soroti hospital...
Museveni woos medics in diaspora
PRSIDENT Yoweri Museveni and Ugandan MPs at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) have called upon medical doctors working in the diaspora to establish medical businesses in Uganda...
Mali reports three suspected Ebola cases
Mali said Thursday it had detected three suspected victims of Ebola, the deadly disease that has killed 84 people in Guinea....
Four key questions on nutrition
Is it true some foods that a mother eats cause colic in newborn babies? My friend cautioned me against spicy foods....
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter