The National Environment Management Authority (Nema)of Uganda, has issued a 21-day ultimatum to a tyre and plastic recycling plant to stop oil spillage and carbon emissions. The factory in Nyimbwa Sub-county in Luweero District reportedly releases black smoke that produces a foul smell.
Ugandan Tyre Recycler Facing Closure
It is also alleged that it recycles old tyres into industrial oil releasing chemicals which pollute the air.
A notice by Nema handed to managers at Ruma Industries, says the proprietors have in the last seven years failed to contain emissions despite several reminders.
The notice is a follow-up of the inspection Nema team conducted after receiving numerous complaints from environmentalists and local residents.
“We carried out an inspection of the facility and found a number of issues including evidence of oil spillages, carbon emissions affecting the environment in the area, personal protection equipment and safety of workers at the factory. The improvement notice gives them 21 days to make changes, failure of which they will face legal action including prosecution or closure,” Mr Tonny Achidria, the Nema senior public relations officer, confirmed.
Mr Achidria said. “There was no record of disposal or transportation of hazardous waste. We, however, took samples to our laboratory to ascertain the other allegations about the hazardous materials,” he added.
Residents claim the owners of the factory dump some of the metallic waste at a nearby swamp which could contaminate their water source.
Mr Lolani Amin, who identified himself as operations manager for Ruma Industries, said: “We are using technology not known to many people which possibly explains why some residents are making such allegations. We assure our neighbours that there is no imminent danger to the environment,” he claimed.