GOLD MINING: HOW CHINESE COMPANIES ARE DEGRADING THE ENVIRONMENT & VIOLATING PEOPLE’S RIGHTS IN KITAGWENDA 

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Residents, environmental activists and local leaders in Kitagwenda district are up in arms accusing Chinese mining companies; Shaft sinkers, Simba mines and Tyang Tyang group of degrading the environment through gold mining in Katomi village Mahyooro town council Kitagwenda district western Uganda.

These companies have also resorted to directly pouring dirty water into Buhindagi River, a tributary to Lake George leaving over 2000 people endangered since it’s where they fetch water for domestic use.

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION, “ORDER FROM ABOVE”, WOMEN & CHILDREN MOST VICTIMIZED. Ismail Mushemeza who is the Kitagwenda district LC 5 chairperson says besides environmental degradation, local people’s rights are violated by these companies because he has received several complaints related to poor working conditions and payment. Human rights activists and local leaders have also raised a red flag that women and children are the most victimized.

The accused Chinese say local authorities should contact higher authorities in Kampala, but the LC 5 chairperson is further concerned that he was called by someone he termed as “order from above” who told him that the higher authorities would engage district authorities – which hasn’t been done as of today Thursday, October 2022.

Bimbona Vincent, the Mahyoro LC3 chairperson also said the companies have been operating for over 10 years but he has never received any environmental assessment plan from the companies.

WHAT ARE AUTHORITIES SAYING & DOING? Vincent Barugahare, the commissioner in the Ministry of Water and Environment advised those with concerns to first engage the Resident District Commissioner-RDC for redress.

This outcry has fueled disagreement between the Chines and local communities, with leaders warning that it might cause serious fights if not addressed.

 

 

 

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