Residents of Kebisoni Sub County in Rukungiri district have threatened to petition of Inspector General of Government over the establishment of a Coffee Huller in the precincts of Karuhembe Health Center III.
A coffee huller is a machine used to remove the husk which envelops the coffee seed and also cleans the seed.
The huller is located just 46meters from Karuhembe health center III in Mabanga Trading center.
On 30th August 2022 disgruntled residents petitioned the office of the Resident District commissioner Rukungiri expressing their dissatisfaction over the establishment of the plant near their health facility. A letter seen by our reporter was copied to the Chairperson Lc5, Chief Administrative Officer, District Health Officer, District Planner, District Health Inspector, and the Kebisoni Sub- County LC3 chairperson.
The residents accused the authorities of pocketing envelopes and allowing Arineitwe Sam a local investor to construct a Coffee Huller near the health facility which they claim is hazardous to their health, especially to pregnant mothers who seek maternity services at the facility.
Richard Tugaineyo, the LC1 chairperson for Rugorogoro cell, Mabanga Parish, Kebisoni Sub- County noted that the environment is being destroyed by investors who connive with technocrats and political leaders to violate Environmental Laws, putting the lives of people at stake.
When contacted, the area LC3 chairperson Charles Kahanyi, denied receiving a petition from the concerned locals and added that as a local leader, he supports the establishment of the huller as it brings development to the area.
Asked about the health implications, Mr Kahanyi said that the sub-county Technical approved the construction plan.
The Kebisoni sub-county chief Arthur Muhanguzi said that he cannot talk about the matter and referred our reporter to the district technical staff.
However, Resident District Commissioner Steven Nsubuga Bewayo, when contacted confirmed receiving a letter from concerned locals and said that he dispatched a technical team from the district to do an assessment which reported to him that the Coffee Huller is in a good location which will not cause adverse health problems to patients who seek services at the Karuhembe health facility.
According to health experts, building a factory near a health center is harmful to the patients as it can retard the healing process though district planner Majanga Tom insists that the machine doesn’t affect the individuals and the environment according to the plan which was approved.