- Spilt oil can pollute streams, rivers and, if it soaks through the soil and rock, groundwater
- Oil pollution can have a devastating effect on the water environment, it spreads over the surface in a thin layer that stops oxygen getting to the plants and animals that live in the water
By Edwin Mumbere
Kasese- Oil and gas activities have been significant implications for the environment sustainability and land productivity.
The National oil and Gas policy (NOGP) recognize the environmental challenge associated with oil production, for all intents and purposes, the policy lays a strong foundation for environmental protection.
However, ensuring compliance is the most critical area where the state in the development of Uganda’s oil fields reports indicate that some oil companies have failed to fully comply with the rules governing waste management and disposal.
For example, the action aid owned publication, oil in Uganda (2012), reported in May 2012 that Heritage oil illegally dumped, untreated waste in a farmers’ garden for a nominal compensation of some US $300.
“Such irresponsible handling of the waste has very serious implications for the environmental sustainability Waste materials generated as a result of ongoing exploration and oil development process should be handled as stipulated in the National Environment Waste Management regulations of 1998.”
Total E& P Company in Bullisa and Hoima districts has been carrying out recovery of the environment after the drilling of the oil was done. But any further spillage of oil should be well managed in order to protect the environment.
Waste should be disposed only legally and all waste treatment plants or facilities should be established away from sensitive ecological zones and with current understaffing at NEMA, some of the regulations will not be followed and hence leaving the country in a dilemma which will take years and lots of money to clean the mess caused in the environment.
Conclusively, if we do not follow our beautifully written laws, then we are heading for disaster instead of prosperity and hence delaying to achieve our vision 2040.
The Writer is a Filed Officer with AFIEGO