HUYE - Residents of Sovu cell, Huye sector have approached local authorities, to protest a the operations of a leather treatment plant said to be polluting the surrounding environment.
The residents claimed that the factory which started operating 5 months ago, is adversely affecting their lives.
“Dirty water from the plant is being channeled into the river whose water is used by the surrounding population for domestic purposes,” Claire Mukayiranga, a local resident said. “Cases of adverse effects of the water on those who use it for bathing have been reported.”
A coffee washing station that relies on water from the polluted river has since ceased its operations for fear of spoiling the quality of the coffee.
“We expressed our fears that our coffee may lose its quality with a proposition that they halt their activities during the coffee harvesting season but they refused,” said Theophile Biziyaremye, the accountant of Abahuzamugambi Cooperative, that owns Sovu coffee washing station.
The area local leaders said they were aware of the problem, and the matter was in the hands of the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA).
“Market days no longer attract many people because of the smell, road users are disturbed by the nauseating smell,” said Basile Uwizeyimana, another resident of the area.
However, officials from the leather processing factory said that they are doing their best to control the smell.
“The problem often occurs when there is an electricity outage,” said Modeste Nzabakurana, in-charge of human resource, “We are testing various chemicals to find a lasting solution to the problem.