Zhongmei, the Chinese Company constructing Olwiyo – Gulu Road is under criticism from residents of Nwoya district for polluting open water sources through disposal of sludge.
The sludge was disposed in an open pit located 100 Meters from the first affected water source at the beginning of the month in Agonga A Village in Agonga Parish, Koch Goma Sub County.
Residents say three of their water sources used by more than 600 residents have been contaminated by the sludge after rainwater washed it into them.
Robert Lakony, the Agonga A Village chairperson says the sludge affected Wang Nyong-1 and Wang Nyong-2 spring wells as well as Imma stream, which are used by residents for domestic purposes.
Alfred Okello Okot, the Secretary for Production and Natural Resources in Nwoya district says they have stopped residents from fetching water from the affected sources.
Jennifer Apiyo Prisca, a resident of Imma ward says the contamination has triggered a water crisis in the village.
Kidega Walter, another resident in Imma ward says he witnessed sludge being dumped into the water sources.
Francis Vuzzel, the Zhongmei Environment officer blames the contamination of the water sources on another company it hired to dispose the sludge.
On Thursday morning, the residents marched to the camp where the sludge was drained with empty jerry cans demanding that the accompany accounts for its actions. They blocked the gate and asked the company to supply them with clean and safe water for the next three months.
John Bosco Okullu, the Koch Goma Sub County chairperson says they have also demanded that the company conducts health surveillance and treat any resident affected by Typhoid.
Nwoya district Water officer Albert Oloya says that further tests will be conducted on samples of water collected from the affected sources.
Oloya says preliminary tests conducted returned mixed results; zero fecal contamination in Wang Nyong Water sources while fecal contamination was detected in samples from Imma Stream.
Zhongmei is currently constructing 70.3km road from Olwiyo to Gulu in Northern Uganda at the tune of 166 billion shillings since 2015.