Uganda: Court Refuses to Block Kiruddu Sewage Plant

Kampala — Court has dismissed an application seeking to block a government entity from constructing a sewage treatment plant to mitigate the irritating stench at Kiruddu Hospital in Kampala.

On May 5, the Assistant Registrar of the High Court Land Division, Ms Justine Atukwasa, ruled that the construction of a sewage treatment plant is meant for the greater good of the wider public which should not be stopped.

The registrar added that if in its final judgment court finds that Mr Steven Lwanga, who is claiming ownership of part of the land is the rightful owner, he can be compensated.

"The question would be what is the threat here that would render the applicant's main application and the matter nugatory that it cannot be addressed through the award of damages? I do not find any such threat. He still has remedies at disposal including compensation for his equitable interest," Ms Atukwasa ruled.

She continued: "In conclusion, therefore, bearing the above consideration in mind, I have come to the finding that this is not a fit and proper case for the application of interim injunction to be granted."

The registrar further explained that court declined to issue a temporary injunction against government halting the construction of the sewage plant because it does so only in compelling circumstances.

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, said following the court ruling, they are waiting for the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation to commence the construction of the treatment plant.

"This land was given to the ministry by Buganda Land Board which promised to sort out all third party claimants. So, we are now waiting for the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation to commence the construction of the waste treatment plant," Mr Ainebyoona said yesterday.

In his petition, Mr Lwanga had sought for an interim injunction blocking Buganda Land Board (BLB) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) or their agents from further trespassing on the contested land measuring 2.75 acres in Valley Zone, Salama Parish in Makindye Division where the treatment plant is set to be constructed until his main case has been concluded to determine his claim of ownership.

Mr Lwanga is claiming the land which was also formerly claimed by a one Serufusa who acquired it from Prince Richard Nakibinge of Kabaka, Sir Daudi Chwa lineage.

In February this year, following complaints from the residents about the terrible stench at Kiruddu Hospital, government and BLB negotiated to acquire the 2.5 acre land to build a sewage treatment plant to remedy the problem.

The BLB offered a lease to government through KCCA. Early this year, the area MP Allan Ssewanyana and the residents held a demonstration to protest the stench. Police arrested the MP.

Once the treatment plant is completed, the sewage from the hospital will be channelled directly to the plant since the current septic tanks cannot contain the huge sewage discharge from the hospital.

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