MARACHA. The administration of Chongqing International construction company (CICO) has agreed to adhere to recommendations of NEMA and the community to reclaim Rokoze stone quarry site that has become a death trap.
The administrator for CICO Mr Mark Magozi declared the position of the construction company during an emergency meeting organized by the district chairman in his office on Monday to discuss a way forward on the restoration.
“We are ready to work with the engineering department of Maracha district to begin reclamation of the site and I am going to consult my bosses to fulfil the pledges and social corporate responsibilities and carry assessment to pay the complainants who were not compensated”, Magozi stated.
The community of Yagule village, Nyadri sub-county and Maracha district local government had already proposed to accuse CICO to NEMA and the relevant authorities due to failure to follow set guidelines to reclaim the site after completion of the 92 km Vurra-Arua-Oraba road since 2015.
The company had in an earlier meeting with the community agreed to fence the site to block people from getting accidents before total reclamation begins but the district engineering department disapproved the plan over standards.
The district chairman Mr Lawrence Adiga said he convened the meeting after receiving a message from the administrator of CICO on Friday that they had been stopped by some district councillors from re-fencing of the site.
“I thank everyone for responding positively to this meeting in a short notice, we are concerned that we have lost three lives in the site; I got disappointed when the councillors took a decision to stop work at the site, It doesn't mean that fencing will stop covering the valley, I want us to take a decision to end the protracted problem forever”, Mr Adiga lamented.
The two district councillors Mr William Drimbaku and Ms Grace Buleru who repulsed the workers from the site said they decided to stop the work over failure to implement the recommendations they agreed in their last meeting with the community.
According to the decommissioning phase conditions set by NEMA for the site in 2012, CICO was to ensure that the restoration plan is fully adhered to and implement upon closure of project activities including putting back the overburdened material and covering with topsoil.
They were also charged to ensure re-vegetation of degraded land surfaces by planting of native species of vegetation, so as to control the occurrence of soil erosion in the project area and to improve the project area aesthetics.
Mr Jimmy Oraku Abirionzia, the Nyadri sub-county chairman reminded CICO to drill the borehole that was agreed to be established to replace spring water that was closed during the excavation process.
“I would like to tell the meeting that the communities are preparing to come and demonstrate for the failure of the district officials to act. They want to march some leaders to go and swim in the manmade lake, let us take a concrete decision now”, Abirionzia remarked.
The meeting with advice from the deputy CAO Mr Stephen Edema Budraa resolved to allow CICO to continue to redo fencing stage by stage beginning with removing the old fence, levelling the place and re-fencing then begin total reclamation.
A committee comprising of the RDC as the chairperson, CAO, district chairman, Nyadri sub-county chairman, natural resource officer and chairperson representing the community was formed to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the resolution reached in the emergency meeting.
The meeting also tasked CICO to set a date to drill a borehole on the site to replace the clean sources of water in the area they closed.
The district leadership appealed to CICO to implement more projects in the district from where most of the materials for construction of Vurra-Arua-Oraba road were extracted.