Members of Parliament have ordered that the British American Tobacco plant be relocated to another area from Jinja Road in Kampala following complaints from the surrounding areas that the gasses omitted from the plant badly affects their health.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Steven Kagoda which is one of the institutions whose offices neighbour the tobacco plant has told Parliament that in the past the ministry has asked BAT to try and minimise the amount of smoke that is emitted from the BAT plant.
Kagoda says though BAT has tried to minimize these dangerous gas emissions, the tobacco company has still failed to adequately control the escape of these emissions as a lot of smoke is emitted from the plant and thus affects the surrounding environment.
The PS says BAT has also told the ministry before that it has plans of relocating to Namanve in the near future.
However Parliament has ordered this plan to be effected as soon as possible though Kagoda warns that it may not be practically possible for BAT to relocate as soon as Parliament may wish it to, since relocations has serious underlying implications which BAT has to first take time on considering before it can choose to relocate.
BAT is the only processing plant of Tobacco in Uganda and though Tobacco smoking is dangerous to the one’s health since it is a cause of lung cancer plus a host of other heart diseases, still a number of Ugandans still grow and smoke tobacco, while the government of Uganda gets huge tax revenue from BAT- the reason tobacco business booms in Uganda.
Smoking tobbaco in public was banned smoking six years ago in 2004 but that has done little or nothing in fighting the vice.
By Tiberindwa Zacharia, Ultimate Media