The presence of a poorly managed piggery at Katuugo Cell in Kasiingo Ward, West Division in Hoima City has caused anxiety among the residents that they might acquire diseases emanating from the pigs being reared near their stream water source.
The residents complain that the poor biosecurity and hygiene procedures at the piggery sees waste emptied into Kahogoma stream which is used by more than 400 homesteads in four cells of Kibbati 1&2 and Katuugo and Mpaija all in Hoima city.
Ms Mary Gorret Nakarumba, an area resident purports that sometimes maggots flowing from piggery runny waste are seen floating on the water of the only unprotected source that the residents rely on for domestic water use.
She is worried about their health due to the poor management of the piggery in the area.
“We use this stream water for drinking, cooking food and washing. There’s a trench that was dug uphill carrying waste right from the piggery draining down into the water source. Sometimes when we go to fetch water, we find maggots floating on the stream water,” Ms Nakarumba complains.
Mr John Kihyaka, a resident of Katuugo cell the residents are not against the piggery project but want the propriety to construct lagoons and ponds for the waste matter from his pigs so the water source is not adulterated.
The Katuugo cell chairman, Mr Ramadhan Erias Byonta, wonders how Mr Godfrey Galimaka established the piggery accommodating a herd of more than 1, 000 swine about two years ago near the water source yet failing to implement and improve biosecurity and manage environmental hygiene procedures.
He says the piggery in the area has led to the spread of swine faeces and waste carrying pathogens into the water source which is harmful to the residents who are at high risk of catching diseases after ingesting contaminated water.
The chairman adds that waste from the piggery to the surrounding neighbourhoods is also polluting the air with an unbearable stench, always making the residents uncomfortable.
The Hoima City Environment Officer, Mr Ronald Kyamanywa, faults Mr Galimaka – the piggery proprietor, for not consulting the concerned authorities who would have carried out an environmental impact assessment as directed by the government prior to setting up his piggery project that currently stands unapproved.
He says the city environment department will write to Mr Galimaka guiding him on the right procedures and put better designs for the piggery to stop contaminating the water source and mitigate the stench from pig wastes.
Mr Kyamanywa adds that the authorities directed Mr Galimaka on phone to construct a lagoon and ponds to ensure that the discharged water is pre-treated and meets the National Environment, Wetlands and River Banks Regulations before his project is closed.
When contacted, Mr Galimaka accepted liability for the water and air pollution arising from the establishment of his project; revealing that he is consulting technocrats on situation analysis and management to get a lasting solution.