Residents dismayed by fish factory over water pollution – Daily Monitor

The premises of Victoria Treasures Limited at Bugabo bay, Katabi Town council, Wakiso District on September 25, 2021. PHOTO/PAUL ADUDE
Residents of Bugabo Village, Nalugala Parish in Katabi Town Council, Wakiso District have expressed dismay at the operations of Victoria Treasures Ltd, a fish processing and Export Company which they claim is disposing harmful waste into Lake Victoria.
The chairman Bugabo Village, Mr Tonny Walugembe told Daily Monitor that the company which has been in operation for a few months could pollute the water with unfiltered waste leading to death of fish in the area.
“We have residents who depend on fishing as their source of income and such actions could lead to death of the fish like we saw recently across Lake Victoria,” he said.
Last week the ministry of water and environment issued the company an environment improvement notice ordering it to stop operations over the degradation and pollution of Lake Victoria at Bugabo Bay until it full fills certain certifications.
The assistant commissioner in the ministry, Mr Joseph Ongol told Daily monitor that Victoria Treasures Ltd didn’t’ carry out an Environment Audit by the end of October last year as directed by government prior to approving its operations.
“The company started abstracting water and discharging waste water into the lake before obtaining the required permits indicated in the certificate of Environment impact assessment and lake shore user permit,” he said.
Mr Ongol said the company is also required to establish a water quality monitoring system to ensure the discharged water is pre-treated and meets the national environmental regulations before it is allowed to resume operations.
“They must carry out an environment audit, obtain a water abstraction and discharge permit from the directorate of water resources management and establish a water quality monitoring system if we are to allow them resume,” he said.
However workers were seen on site going about their general duties of harvesting fish from some of the cages annexing the lake when this Daily Monitor reporter visited the factory on Saturday.
When contacted, Victoria treasures Ltd administrator, Ms Ritah Hussein told Daily monitor that the workers seen resided within the company’s staff quarters which are part of its premises.
“We complied with the notice from the ministry and replied, we are now waiting for their reply. We are not operating right now, that is why you didn’t find me there (in office). The machines we were asked to have are in office but instalment was delayed due to Covid-19 them due to Covid,” she explained.  
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