By George Tinka
Residents of Hohwa Village in Kabwoya Sub County, Kikuube District are up in arms after China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), a company contracted to construct critical oil roads in the Albertine region destroyed their only traditional water source.
The Chinese construction company reportedly destroyed the water source on River Hohwa while constructing the Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butoole Road, one of the critical roads leading to the Kingfisher Development Area. But, according to the residents, the company failed to honour its pledge to drill a borehole for the affected communities as an alternative water source.
Residents say that they now have to trek close to 10 kilometres from their homes to look for alternative water sources, adding that although they had been promised an alternative, there is no sign that this will be done. They are now asking the district leaders to take urgent action and ensure that they are provided with a safe water alternative source to the community.
Hohwa Village Chairperson Elias Bin Kalil says that he got suspicious after receiving conflicting information about the planned construction of the alternative water source, yet the road project is nearing completion.
Ambrose Atwine, the Public Relations Officer of China Railway Seventh Group explains that they had agreed to construct a water source as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities but not as a command. However, he adds, the company cleared another area on Hohwa River for the community to access water as they plan to implement the borehole pledge.
The contract to construct the road was signed on March 26,2019 and construction works commenced on April 26,2019.