Rukungiri Residents Feud with Investor for Constructing Coffee Plant near Health Center
By Our Reporter
Rukungiri – A row has errupted between residents of Mabanga – Karuhembe and a coffee huller investor over a coffee machine in the precincts of Karuhembe Health Centre III. The said huller is located just 46 meters from Karuhembe Health center III in Mabanga Trading center.
The residents accuse the authorities of taking bribes and allowing Arinaitwe, and Shem, a local investor to construct a coffee huller near the health facility which they claim is hazardous to their health, especially to pregnant mothers who seek maternity services at the facility.
On 30th August 2022 disgruntled residents through the area LC1 chairman, petitioned the office of the office of Chief Administrative Officer Rukungiri District seeking Intervention and also expressing their dissatisfaction over the establishment of the plant near their health facility.
A letter quoted by a local radio (Boona FM) was copied to the Chairperson LC5, Chief Administrative Officer, District Health Officer, District Planner, District Health Inspector, and the Kebisoni Sub- County LC3 chairperson.
Richard Tugaineyo, the LC1 chairperson for Rugorogoro cell, Mabanga Parish, Kebisoni sub-county noted that the environment is being destroyed by investors who connive with technocrats and political leaders to violate environmental laws, putting the lives of people at stake.
Kebisoni LC3 chairperson, Charles Kahanyi, is said to have denied receiving a petition from the concerned locals and added that as a local leader, he supports the establishment of the huller as it brings development to the area. Asked about the health implications, Mr. Kahanyi said that the sub-county technical approved the construction plan.
However, the offices of; CAO, Chairperson LC 5 and RDC when contacted they confirmed to have received the said letter from concerned locals and said that he dispatched a technical team from the district to do an assessment which reported that the Coffee Huller is in a good location which will not cause adverse health problems to patients who seek services at the Karuhembe Health facility.
According to health experts, building a factory near a health center is harmful to the patients as it can retard the healing process. Though the district planner Majanga Tom insists that the machine doesn’t affect the individuals and the environment according to the plan which was approved.
Residents are now threatening to petition the office of Inspector General of Government IGG over the same matter.