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NWSC not to blame for staff death, says area manager

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Residents of Kazimingi village in Jinja help carry one of the bodies of the two NWSC employees who died in a sewage line onto a police pickup truck in Jinja last week.

Residents of Kazimingi village in Jinja help carry one of the bodies of the two NWSC employees who died in a sewage line onto a police pickup truck in Jinja last week. Photo by DENIS EDEMA 

By DENIS EDEMA

Posted  Sunday, December 29  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Police in Jinja says the two workers who died trying to unblock a sewerage line were not wearing any protective gear.

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Jinja

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has denied allegations that they are to blame for the death of two of their employees.

Bosco Atube and Noah Mugonda died after they were trapped while trying to unblock a sewage line linking Jinja Industrial Area to the waste treatment plant last Thursday. The deceased were pronounced dead on arrival at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital where they had been taken by police soon after being pulled out of a 15-metre deep sewerage pit in Kazimingi village.

The cause of their death was not readily established, but Jinja District Police Commander Apollo Kateeba, who commanded the rescue operation, blamed NWSC for failure to provide protective gear and communication equipment to its employees.

“They did not have any communication equipment and they were clearly not protected enough to do that kind of work. We have also since established that the local authorities were, contrary to standard practice, not informed about the deployment of the two men in the area,” Mr Kateeba said.

The LCI chairperson of Factory Village, Mr John Mushid said he first learnt of the incident from the residents who called him. “I am told that when the second man realised that his colleague was taking too long to come out of the pipe, he went in to check, but he too did not come out, forcing the residents to call in the police,” Mr Mushid said.

However, the NWSC Area Manager, Mr Jackson Unjima, said the deceased had not been assigned to work where they died. “The deaths are most unfortunate, but they died while doing private work. They must have been called by some factory owners to unblock the sewage systems. But the blockage was not communicated through our office,” Mr Unjima said. He also said that records at the corporation’s offices indicate that the two had been deployed in Walukuba and not in Industrial Area where they died.

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