By Sabir Musa

Community members of Yabiavoko Parish, Oluko Sub County in Arua District are crying for the intervention of higher authorities to address their concerns after officials of the sub county and Dot Services failed to respond on their pleas about the negative impacts of rock blasting by Dot Services in this parish.

They say Dot Services is violating agreement signed to compensate them, and also blamed Sub County Officials for paying deaf ears to their cry.

Swadick Ajuga, one of the residents in this community expressed that, ‘‘the blasting causes cracks on houses, it is not done in the exact time as communicated and it is very risky’’

According to him, several complaints raised have never been addressed by responsible authorities.

The LC 1 Chairperson of Andiwa Village (one of the affected villages), Tayo John Bosco said, the Sub County officials remain silent despite the meetings held.

He stated that, meetings were organised but officials from Dott Services could not attend.

In an interview with the former Chairperson of Andiwa Village, Valery Candia who signed the agreement with Dott Services on behalf of the community, he revealed that, the company is violating the agreement. As he explained that, the community has never been compensated.

He appealed to responsible authorities to intervene in-order to address the issues.

Richard Butele, the Councillor for Yabiavoko Parish confirmed that, the sub county has not released an information to the community about plans to address their concerns.

Richard also said, Dott Services was requested to construct boreholes, roads among others as part of Corporate Social Responsibility to benefit the community, but this has since remained undone.

Environment Impact Assessment

Before such projects kicks-off, it is required that an Environmental Impact Assement is carried to investigate the impact on the community.

But it remains unclear whether this was done for the project.

The Senior Environment Officer of Arua District Local Government, Joakim Andiandu said, Consultant assigned by the client (Dott Services) for Environmental Impact Assessment was mandated to conduct comprehensive interviews and consultations with different.

But it seems the community was not informed about the result.

Responses

When the Manager of Dott Services was contacted on the allegations, he referred (the Journalist) to Public Relations Officer of the company, Joseph Anguyo who is also the GISO in Oluko Sub County.

But the said PRO refused to respond on the questions as he claimed that, his duties as PRO does not need media.

Sub County Chairman responds

Oluko Sub County LC 3 Chairperson, Joseph Ayapa blamed this on lack of records by previous leadership to capture details on the assessment.

It is revealed that, Arua District Local Government Environment Department has received a formal request to carry out an assessment on destructions caused by the project in this community, and the company is now tasked to disseminate information on the Environmental Impact Assessment to community members.

Dot Services signed agreement to acquire this rock in 2015 at a cost of 50 million shillings, but it is also allege that, only 25 million shillings was paid. End