WGI team at one of the processing points in mubende district

On the 1-2nd of April WGI collected soil and water samples from gold mining and processing points in Mubende district. This is part of its project on "Promoting Mining Industry Compliance to Social and Environmental Safeguards in Uganda" a project funded by the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) through its regional organisation Open Society Institute for East Africa (OSIEA). The samples will be tested in the laboratory for presence of Mercury, Cyanide, Arsenic and lead as indicators of pollution. Results will ascertain whether these hazardous chemicals are finding their way into the environment and probably into humans and the food-chain 

 



The joy and pain of the wet season

With the rain season now on, different categories of people like farmers are jubilating because they expect higher yields at harvest time. However, for others, the rain comes with problems that range from the pesky –mud getting stuck to the shoe sole – to the serious, where roads and houses become flooded.

Traffic jam

While its raining, there is hardly any traffic jam. But no sooner does it stop than the roads get congested. A police traffic officer along Jinja Road believes the main cause of the traffic jam during wet seasons is that while the rain is pouring, all the activities stop. “When its raining, people hold back since no one is able to do a lot in the rain,” he says, adding: “After it has rained, majority of the people rush to complete whatever they were doing and they all end up meeting on the roads hence heavy traffic jam.”

Hiked transport fares

The rain is also associated with an increase in transport fares, especially for people who use public means like taxis. Jamil Muwonge, a taxi driver along Bombo Road to Kawempe says the high consumption of fuel by cars during traffic jam compels them to hike the fares. “In a distance where I drive for one hour when there is no jam, I end up spending two hours on the same distance when there is jam,” says Muwonge. “When I’m going to hike the fare from town to Kawempe, from Shs2,000 to Shs2,500, I first talk to the passengers before they board,” he notes. “Instead of using the main road from town to Kawempe, I divert to using the Nakulabye-Kasubi route where there is no jam but after communicating with the passengers,” Muwonge adds. “With this at the back of their minds, they will pay the Shs2,500 wholeheartedly because they are always tired and want to get home early enough,” he concludes.

Change in commodity prices

Prices of commodities like umbrellas differ slightly from the price that they are sold at in the dry season. In the dry season, a small umbrella in Kikuubo costs Shs5,000 and a larger one goes for Shs8,000, but when the rain season starts , the price may change depending on the demand of the umbrellas, says Agnes Namiggo, who sells umbrellas in Kikuubo. “On good days when it rains almost every day, we can sell as many as 14 dozen, and the rate at which they sell is also very fast,”adds Namiggo. Peter Musoke, a businessman dealing in sweaters and jackets in Mukwano Arcade says a jacket he sells at Shs18,000 in the dry season goes for between Shs20,000 to Shs25,000 when the rain season kicks in. “But there is a high demand for jackets in the rainy season, especially at times when people are going home or to work,” notes Musoke. “On a good day, I can retire with profit of Shs 50,000 which may not be achievable in the dry season,” he adds.

Just an inconvenience for some

For Daniel Kafeero, a dealer in gumboots, his situation is quite different. “Sometimes I have to wear the gumboots myself because there are some areas, which are difficult to reach like deep inside Owino especially when you have to move and look for stock to keep your business running,” says Kafeero.He goes on and says unlike other commodities whose prices change depending on seasons like umbrellas, the change in season does not change the prices of gumboots. “If the prices are to change, they change with an increment of between Shs5,000 to Shs10.000,” says Kafeero.He adds that it is factors like increase in taxes on the side of the manufacturers that affects prices, and not the weather conditions.

Crime rates

The rain season does not only escalate commodity prices but it is also associated with high crime rates, especially in the night when thieves take advantage of people sleeping deeply and they break into houses.Julius Tusingwire the District Police Commander Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb says crime occurrence in his area is low because a lot of precaution measures have been undertaken to eliminate victims of crimes. “This has been achieved by heavy deployment of security personnel in crowded places like clubs and pubs in the night and petrol stations as well as making some foot patrols both during day and night to ensure maximum protection for the people,” says Tusingwire. “If at the end of two days you have only 24 entries of minor crimes, it means there is a low crime rate,” he adds.

The hangouts

You would assume that more people will hit the bar during the wet season, especially if it is indoors but the opposite is true. Some bar owners say they have fewer customers during this season and that is why most of them dread the rain. “During the rainy season, it is cold and wet and therefore I prefer to stay indoors so I stock my fridge at home instead of hitting the bar,” a regular bar goer says.

Poor drainage coupled with poor infrastructure development destroys Kampala

Poor drainage coupled with poor infrastructure development (i.e. roads, commercial, industrial and residential buildings) in Kampala and Uganda in general is responsible for the sight and flooding conditions seen in the article below.

This is happening despite the trillion of shillings spent in planning and construction of this infrastructure in the cities. The rampant corruption that has bedeviled all institutions of government and decadence of morals and integrity of persons is responsible for this mess.

In the Picture: Is one of the impassible roads in Kampala.

This is made worse by a political leadership which is insensitive to ordinary peoples’ plight as depicted by an article in the same Newspaper titled “Museveni okay eviction of residents in mineral areas”.

The joy and pain of the wet season

With the rain season now on, different categories of people like farmers are jubilating because they expect higher yields at harvest time. However, for others, the rain comes with problems that range from the pesky –mud getting stuck to the shoe sole – to the serious, where roads and houses become flooded.

Traffic jam

While its raining, there is hardly any traffic jam. But no sooner does it stop than the roads get congested. A police traffic officer along Jinja Road believes the main cause of the traffic jam during wet seasons is that while the rain is pouring, all the activities stop. “When its raining, people hold back since no one is able to do a lot in the rain,” he says, adding: “After it has rained, majority of the people rush to complete whatever they were doing and they all end up meeting on the roads hence heavy traffic jam.”

Hiked transport fares

The rain is also associated with an increase in transport fares, especially for people who use public means like taxis. Jamil Muwonge, a taxi driver along Bombo Road to Kawempe says the high consumption of fuel by cars during traffic jam compels them to hike the fares. “In a distance where I drive for one hour when there is no jam, I end up spending two hours on the same distance when there is jam,” says Muwonge. “When I’m going to hike the fare from town to Kawempe, from Shs2,000 to Shs2,500, I first talk to the passengers before they board,” he notes. “Instead of using the main road from town to Kawempe, I divert to using the Nakulabye-Kasubi route where there is no jam but after communicating with the passengers,” Muwonge adds. “With this at the back of their minds, they will pay the Shs2,500 wholeheartedly because they are always tired and want to get home early enough,” he concludes.

Change in commodity prices

Prices of commodities like umbrellas differ slightly from the price that they are sold at in the dry season. In the dry season, a small umbrella in Kikuubo costs Shs5,000 and a larger one goes for Shs8,000, but when the rain season starts , the price may change depending on the demand of the umbrellas, says Agnes Namiggo, who sells umbrellas in Kikuubo. “On good days when it rains almost every day, we can sell as many as 14 dozen, and the rate at which they sell is also very fast,”adds Namiggo. Peter Musoke, a businessman dealing in sweaters and jackets in Mukwano Arcade says a jacket he sells at Shs18,000 in the dry season goes for between Shs20,000 to Shs25,000 when the rain season kicks in. “But there is a high demand for jackets in the rainy season, especially at times when people are going home or to work,” notes Musoke. “On a good day, I can retire with profit of Shs 50,000 which may not be achievable in the dry season,” he adds.

Just an inconvenience for some

For Daniel Kafeero, a dealer in gumboots, his situation is quite different. “Sometimes I have to wear the gumboots myself because there are some areas, which are difficult to reach like deep inside Owino especially when you have to move and look for stock to keep your business running,” says Kafeero.He goes on and says unlike other commodities whose prices change depending on seasons like umbrellas, the change in season does not change the prices of gumboots. “If the prices are to change, they change with an increment of between Shs5,000 to Shs10.000,” says Kafeero.He adds that it is factors like increase in taxes on the side of the manufacturers that affects prices, and not the weather conditions.

Crime rates

The rain season does not only escalate commodity prices but it is also associated with high crime rates, especially in the night when thieves take advantage of people sleeping deeply and they break into houses.Julius Tusingwire the District Police Commander Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb says crime occurrence in his area is low because a lot of precaution measures have been undertaken to eliminate victims of crimes. “This has been achieved by heavy deployment of security personnel in crowded places like clubs and pubs in the night and petrol stations as well as making some foot patrols both during day and night to ensure maximum protection for the people,” says Tusingwire. “If at the end of two days you have only 24 entries of minor crimes, it means there is a low crime rate,” he adds.

The hangouts

You would assume that more people will hit the bar during the wet season, especially if it is indoors but the opposite is true. Some bar owners say they have fewer customers during this season and that is why most of them dread the rain. “During the rainy season, it is cold and wet and therefore I prefer to stay indoors so I stock my fridge at home instead of hitting the bar,” a regular bar goer says.

Source: The Daily Monitor.

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) has on 8 November 2013 resumed operations in Block 10BB and Block 13T in Northern Kenya following successful dialogue with national and county government and leaders of the local community.

The suspension of operations announced last week allowed all parties to discuss and understand the complex operating environment in Northern Kenya and commit to taking the necessary action to allow exploration operations to resume.Further to these discussions, Tullow has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Minister for Energy. The MoU clearly lays out a plan for the Government of Kenya, county government, local communities in Northern Kenya and Tullow to work together inclusively over the long-term and to ensure that operations can continue without disruption in the future.

Tullow has about 2,100 employees in Turkana County alone and rents over 1,000 vehicles.“We had an agreement with Tullow that they will give tenders of supplying vehicles to our youth women and they got loans to buy tracks only to find out that tenders have already been awarded to some other people, how will these women repay their loans,” said Turkana South (Kenya) Constituency Member of Parliament James Lomenen.

Lomenen urged Tullow Oil plc to honor the agreement and adapt to the culture of the host community.“The suspension of operations announced last week allowed all parties to discuss and understand the complex operating environment in Northern Kenya and commit to taking the necessary action to allow exploration operations to resume,” said Deputy General Manager Sid Black.

Through the agreement, the company re-affirmed its commitment to local employment, local opportunities and transparency throughout its operations in Northern Kenya. “As Tullow’s exploration campaign progresses and gathers pace, the number of local employees and local companies involved in our work will continue to grow,” Black said.

The company suspended its operations as a result of demonstrations by the residents demanding to be employed at the company’s sites, including Ngamia 1 and Twiga 1, which are its biggest operations. Residents in the area had marched to the oil sites, demanding an explanation from Tullow president on the criteria the firm used to hire workers.

Recently, the company announced that the Ekales-1 wildcat, located in Block 13T had made a new oil discovery.

This is the fourth consecutive wildcat discovery, in the first oil basin opened in Northern Kenya, since drilling commenced in 2012.Results of drilling, wire line logs and samples of reservoir fluid indicated a potential net oil pay in the Auwerwer and Upper Lokone sandstone reservoirs of between 60 and 100 metres. The Ekales-1 well is located between the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 oil discoveries and the reservoir properties at this location are similar to those previously encountered.

Source: REDPEPPER

WGI team at one of the processing points in mubende district

On the 1-2nd of April WGI collected soil and water samples from gold mining and processing points in Mubende district. This is part of its project on "Promoting Mining Industry Compliance to Social and Environmental Safeguards in Uganda" a project funded by the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) through its regional organisation Open Society Institute for East Africa (OSIEA). The samples will be tested in the laboratory for presence of Mercury, Cyanide, Arsenic and lead as indicators of pollution. Results will ascertain whether these hazardous chemicals are finding their way into the environment and probably into humans and the food-chain 

 


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