By Emmanuel Omona
The MP for Nwoya district who also double as the Minister without portfolio in charge of mobilization, Richard Toodwong, is not happy with the way oil companies are dumping their wastes in his district.
Toodwong argues that a waste sample of oil was dumped over the weekend in a compound of local resident in Purongo Sub County.
Toodwong while appearing in a local Radio talk show in Gulu town explained that they are yet assessing the reasons as to why the oil company has not acted responsibly.
“The oil waste was dumped in the compound of a resident he identified as Omona and we need to investigate well. This is not a simple matter”, Toodwong explained.
This is not the first time oil waste has been allegedly dumped carelessly in the compound of local residents.
In April 2013, residents of Got Apwoyo, Purongo sub-county, Nwoya district, accused oil giant Total E&P of dumping oil waste on people’s land.
Although these allegations have not been independently verified, Total E&P during an Interview with a local news paper says it will clean up all oil waste in its exploration areas EA-I and EA-IA.
In early June 2013, residents of Purongo sub County in Nwoya district reported that they were living in fear after a truck loads of unspecified oil waste materials were allegedly dumped in their areas.
The Purongo sub County Chairman LCIII, Benson Langol told reporter in Gulu district that most of the residents were afraid of the waste.
In 2005 also, Heritage Oil and Gas company allegedly dumped truckloads of oil waste in Pubit village, Purongo sub-county in Amuru, now Nwoya district. Heritage left in 2009 without cleaning up the waste and the National Environment Management Authority issued no sanctions to that effect.
And as if that is not enough, another oil waste was also allegedly dumped in May 2012 by Heritage Oil Company in one of the farmer’s home.
Douglas Olwoch, 43, the owner of the home claimed that he received 750,000 shillings (USD 300) from Heritage Oil for the waste to be dumped in his compounds.
The waste according to the environmentalists could be dangerous to the health of people and the plants.
The enraged Purongo residents now want the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to give them the results of tests they conducted in 2009.
There are only three companies NEMA has licensed to handle oil waste. These are – Green Label, Green Impact, and Providence. These companies are required to operate according to Nema’s guidelines.