Kabale Locals Defy Authorities on Closed Quarry

1989 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Kabale District Security Committee stopped mining of sand and stones in the district following days of torrential rains and devastating floods in April 2015. The decision was to avert a possible risk to persons engaged in quarrying activities in the event that the quarrys had collapsed.

Locals in Kitumba Sub County in Kabale district have defied authorities over the closure of Kiyoora stone quarry, the biggest stone quarry in the district.

Kabale District Security Committee stopped mining of sand and stones in the entire district following days of torrential rains and devastating floods in April 2015. The decision was to avert a possible risk to persons engaged in quarrying activities' in the event that the quarry's had collapsed.

While activities resumed at all quarries in the district, Kiyoora stone quarry, which employed more than 1000 people, remained closed.

Initial reports indicated that Kiyoora quarry was closed on the directives of President Yoweri Museveni who was concerned that its activities were endangering Lake Bunyonyi, thee second deepest lake in Africa and one of Uganda's best natural treasures.

The district leadership said that the decision was for the good of the people. But the residents are demanding that evidence should be presented to support the statement. 

While seeking audience from the president, the locals have stormed the quarry again and resumed operations saying the quarry is the sole source of income for many of them and its closure tantamount to condemnation into poverty.

John William Maniragaba, one of the residents says he has been dependent on the quarry for the last 30 years. He adds that the closure of the quarry subjected them to unemployment and increased thefts in the community.

He says that over 200 people have resolved to return to the quarry, even without the approval of the authorities.
 
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He adds that the district leadership has also failed to prove their claim beyond reasonable doubt by presenting scientific evidence to back it up.
 
Evelyne Katushabe, another resident says that she went to the area because of the booming stone crushing business which is currently struggling. She says the confusion has negatively impacted on her life.

Kabale Resident District Commissioner Darius Nandinda says that quarrying activities in kiyoora will be treated as illegal.
 

 

Tagged with: kabale

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.