By Yosam Gucwaki
Water sources in Masindi are reportedly polluted with agro chemicals resulting from heavy use of pesticides in the district.
This is according to the report from a survey that was conducted in the district by Uganda National Association of Community Occupational Health (UNACOH), a health promotion organisation under its Pesticide Use, Health and Environment Project.
The findings were presented by Agrey Atuhairwe, the project coordinator during a stakeholders dissemination workshop held at Country Inn in Masindi town today.
Atuhairwe told the participants who included technocrats, politicians, religious leaders and representatives of civil society organisations in Masindi district that the organisation tested water that was fetched from five water sources including wells and boreholes in Masindi district in April and June this year.
He revealed that the test found residues of different pesticides in all the water that was fetched in April but no pesticide was found in the water that was fetched from the same sources in the month of June.
Atuhairwe blamed the presence of pesticides in the water during April on the farmers’ heavy use of pesticide during that time.
Atuhairwe named discriminative disposal of pesticide containers, mixing, spraying and washing of pesticide spray pumps and containers by famers in the district near water sources.
He also told the participants that the organisation also tested peelings and pulp of tomatoes sprayed with pesticides after being harvested and found more pesticide residues in the peelings than in the pulp.
Atuhairwe notes that this results to healthy disorders like difficulty in breathing, skin irritation, frequent headache, dizziness and the increasing cancer cases thereby calling for concerted efforts by all stakeholders in the district to solve the problem.
The stakeholders acknowledged the problem of poor pesticide use in the district and elected a 10 member committee that will work with UNACOH and Masindi District Farmers Association (MADIFA) to come up with strategies of promoting safe chemical use during the two years of the project implementation in the district
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website