Residents of in Nabbongo and Kawowo Sub counties along the border of Bulambuli and Kapchorwa districts have blocked the feeder road connecting to the stone quarry belonging to Kampala cement factory citing trespass.
Residents claim that Kampala cement factory, which started its stone quarrying activities in the area in 2014, forcefully opened a road through their land without their consent.
The residents claim that they have made various attempts to secure compensation from Kampala cement for the last six years in vain. They explain that left without any other option, they decided to block the road leading to the quarry to draw the attention of the company managers to their compensation demands.
Residents unanimously resolved to close the road in a meeting held on June 04, 2021. This prompted Kampala cement factory told its activities on Monday this week when police from Kapchorwa and Bulambuli districts used teargas to disperse the residents and remove the barricades.
Aisa Scovia Muduwa, the General Secretary of the affected families, says that Kampala cement factory has repeatedly promised to compensate them since April 30th, 2015 in vain.
Ramathan Wepukhulu and Dison Wobyanga, both residents of Bulambuli district, say that they want to repossess their land for farming since Kampala cement factory has failed to compensate them.
Bukuwa Kutosi Watsusi, another affected resident whose house has developed cracks because of the ground vibrations and stone blasting in the quarry, says the company has failed to compensate him yet his house is on the verge of collapse.
Alex Mishebebe, the Nabbongo Sub-county councilor expressed disappointment with Kampala cement factory authorities for ignoring the pleas of the residents for compensation even after making various commitments.
William Byarugaba, the Human Resource Manager Kampala Cement factory declined to comment on the matter, saying they are not concerned with the police deployment on the site. He referred our reporter to the police.
Roger Taitika, the Elgon Region police spokesperson told URN that he wasn’t aware of the deployment at Kampala cement factory stone quarry. He explained that he was yet to get any information from the respective police commanders.
At least three cement companies have bought quarries in Bulambuli and Kapchorwa districts where they extract material for making cement. The two other companies are Tororo and Hima cement.
In 2019 the Natural Resources Committee of parliament led by the Kiboga East legislator, Keefa Kiwanuka recommended the three cement factories expedite the compensation of the affected families and open large trenches that direct water runoff resulting from the mining activities in Bulambuli district.