Over 20 people in Nyakyerongoosa village in Kakiri town council are demanding over 200 million shillings as compensation from Florich Stone Quarrying Company for the destruction of their houses and property.
Over 20 people in Nyakyerongoosa village in Kakiri town council are demanding over 200 million shillings as compensation from Florich Stone Quarrying Company for the destruction of their houses and property last week.
More than four collapsed while several others sustained huge cracks as a result of a huge blast from the quarry. Those whose houses collapsed completely are Allan Mulondo, John Kimbugwe, Lawrence Walugembe and Mike Sserubogo.
Some of those whose houses were partially destroyed are James Ntambi, Teopista Namayanja, Annette Nakimbugwe, Sylvia Nalubanga, and Grace Nakiboneka amongst others. John Kimbugwe who is now homeless accuses the company of using high explosives to break up the rocks leading to the destruction of their homes.
He says that some of the houses were deroofed by stray stones whereas others were left with wide cracks and are at the verge of collapse. Grace Nakiboneka another resident says that they also lost several crop gardens and their animals that were hit by the flying stones.
Nakiboneka says that they have lived on the village for over 100 years but the company seems to be using high handed methods of evicting them with their quarry activities without compensation. The victims have demanded for over 200 millions to enable them relocate to another area and build new houses to enable the quarrying go on.
John Kimbugwe says that compensation however will not entail selling the land to the company because it contains burial sites of their grandfathers. Last week over 100 residents armed with pangas and big sticks attacked the workers at the site and forced them to suspend the quarrying activities and they also blocked further transportation of stones forcing police to intervene in the matter to restore order.
The residents, local leaders, police and company managers met on the weekend but nothing was resolved because of the absence of the company owner. Sam Jagwe, the manager of Florich Stone Quarry says that they will resolve the victims’ grievances as soon Richard Kiwanuka the owner of the company comes back from abroad where he went on business.
He explained that the company has already hired experts to devise ways of quarrying without such incidences happening again.