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Pollution Leads to Closure of Poultry Businesses

29 July 2013

UGANDA - Many poultry businesses in the city are facing closure for not adhering to health requirements. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has established that most of them are polluting the air beyond the acceptable levels set by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

Citing the awful smell that comes out of the poultry farms as a public health nuisance according to the Public Health Act, KCCA has accused the owners of poultry farms of failing to contain it.

According to NewVision, among the requirements for a poultry business are chicken houses, provision for solid waste disposal, sanitary facilities, stores, water and a fire extinguisher.

But due to lack of the above facilities, some poultry businesses may cease to operate starting next month.

In Nsambya in Makindye Division, KCCA has ordered Joseph Litty, the owner of Jophy Poultry Farms, to close his business, because its magnitude is not accepted in a residential area.

Jophy Poultry Farms is situated on a two-hectare sublease piece of land, which belongs to Kampala Archdiocese. It is said to have 12,000 chicks. The farm started operating three months ago.

Before KCCA directed Mr Litty to close his business, the authority’s health officers visited his farm and discovered that it constituted a public health nuisance.

The move came after residents petitioned KCCA, complaining that the awful smell from the farm had made their lives miserable.

In a 28 June letter to Litty, KCCA’s director for physical planning, George Agaba, told him to remove and discontinue the poultry project.

"The matter was presented in the physical planning committee meeting of 27 June 2013 and the decision was that no further works on the poultry project should proceed," Mr Agaba said.

He added: "On failure to do so, KCCA shall have no option, but to prosecute you in the courts of law and demolish all installations at the site at your cost."

Makindye Division town clerk Theo Tibihika had earlier advised Litty in a 26 June letter to operate within two months, in which period he should sell off the poultry to avoid loses.

Some residents said on several occasions, they told Mr Litty how his business had put their lives in danger, but he ignored them.

"At first, he was arrogant and did not listen to our views until we involved KCCA. We had to petition KCCA to seek redress on the matter," Catherine Egongo, the area chairperson, said.

Alex Byamugisha, who lives near the poultry farm, also said Litty hoodwinked him into thinking that he was to set up a flower farm.

"When I saw the structures, I advised him that authorities would not allow him to set up a poultry business in a residential area. He did not listen to me. When you visit this place in the mornings and evenings, you may think we live near a limbo," he said.

Meanwhile, there is a group of youth who support Mr Litty and want the project to continue operating in this area.

About 70 of them petitioned KCCA last month, arguing that the project had changed their lives.

"Those who are against this project are self-seekers. I had lost hope, but when I got a job here, my life improved," Herbert Kiwanuka said.

Litty told Saturday Vision that he was preparing to move his business to Wakiso. He explained that the President’s Office investigated the matter and recommended that he should be given a year to shift.

However, he vowed to sue KCCA and Capt. Fred Rukidi, a UPDF soldier, for forcefully evicting him.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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