COMMUNITIES of Barlwala and Baropuu villages in Angweta- Angwet, Adekokwok Sub County, Lira district are wary of the health risks associated with an ethanol processing plant
By Patrick Okino
IRRITATING smell emitted from the factory, waste matter and liquor welcome you when passing near the ethanol processing plant in Angweta-Angwet.
Communities of Barlwala and Baropuu villages in Angweta- Angwet, Adekokwok Sub County, Lira district are wary of the health risks associated with an ethanol processing plant constructed in the area in 2014.
Kamtech Logistics Uganda Ltd constructed the factory to produce alcohol but the immediate neighbours are concerned by the health risks associated with emission from the factory, vibrations cause by heavy machinery, improper waste management and limited space for operation.
The factory according to the communities should immediately be relocated.
They also cited lack of consultation and many risks associated with the industrial operation that is greatly affecting the wellbeing and livelihood of the residents living within a radius of 500 square meters.
According to information established by New Vision, several letters were written to National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), the Lira Resident District Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer to take immediate action.
"Besides there is also cassava dust and a smell being emitted by the factory," a letter to RDC on March 10 said.
"We fear that in the long run, this factory will have irreversible consequences on us or the surrounding villages," said Tommy Otoo, another resident.
The area communities (Barlwala and Baropuu) and management of Kamtech Logistics are at loggerheads.
The communities have issued a notice of intention to sue to Kamtech Logistics through their legal representatives.
"The area upon which Kamtech Logistics is operating the factory was purely gazetted for residential purposes and not for commercial or industrial use," read the notice copied to NEMA.
The district environment officer, Fabious Otike said he did an environmental impact assessment and said there is need to hire a firm to manage waste.
He said the area was not gazetted for industrial establishment because it is not in the town center but in Adekokwok Sub County.
The LC1 of Barlwala village, Geoffrey Odoch said the factory was a good development in the area because it had created jobs for the residents even though others are not supportive.
"I support the project but some people are complaining and they want the factory relocated," he told New Vision.
Efforts to get comment from the management of the factory were futile.
Lira residents want alcohol plant closed