Nwoya. Residents of Agonga A Village, Kochgoma Sub-county in Nwoya District have accused Chinese firm Zhongmei Engineering Construction Company of dumping sewage near water sources, putting their lives at a risk.
On Thursday, the residents staged a peaceful demonstration before the Chinese firm’s camp demanding that they clean up the mess.
Ms Grace Anyayo, a resident, said she no longer fetches water from the stream.
“My family no longer uses the well, I trek for two kilometres to get clean water from a borehole. We are afraid that many people may contract diseases after using the contaminated water,” Ms Anyayo told Daily Monitor in an interview on Friday. “Sometimes we have to cover our noses because we cannot bear the stench from the spilled sewage,” she added.
Mr Okello Alfred, the LC5 councillor of Kochgoma, said more than 80 households have been affected.
“The sewage is dumped in one of the firm’s former quarry just 200 metres from their main camp. When it rains, the faecal matter is washed down the wells used by the community,” Mr Okello said.
The company is constructing the 70.3 Km Olwiyo-Gulu road and has a camp in Koch Goma Sub-county.
When contacted, the company’s safety manager, Ms Juliet Nakizito, however, said they are not to blame since they sub-contracted another company she declined to name to empty and dispose of sewage.
Mr Patrick Okello Oryema, the district chairperson, said they have given the Chinese officials a week to find alternative sources of water for the affected residents.
Mr Oryema said the district health department carried out tests on the water sources which revealed that one has been contaminated with faecal waste.
“We will not allow the contractor to continue with their road construction unless they remove all the sludge from the area and construct alternative water sources,” he said.
During a meeting with district leaders on Friday, the company officials agreed to remove the waste and construct alternative water sources.