Oil and gas waste monitoring system to be installed in East Africa

Posted on : Wednesday , 15th July 2015

 The ministry of water and environment on Monday commissioned oil and gas waste monitoring system that will reinforce Uganda’s preparedness to control pollution as it moves closer to start extracting oil.

The online real-time water quality monitoring system is an assortment of sophisticated equipment and machines that will be able to detect any form of foreign substance in water and relay information to the control centre in Entebbe.It comprises of a mobile work station and fixed stations in the Albertine region and in Pakwach district and a national command and control centre in Entebbe, Robert Anguzu, the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project Phase II (LVEMPII) communication specialist, said. During the function to commission the equipment at the Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM) office in Entebbe, David Obong, the water ministry permanent secretary, said it would conserve the balance between economic drive and environmental degradation.Obong highlighted the importance to protect natural resources and water bodies from substances like oil and gas waste that can be detrimental.Experts have called on the government to tread carefully with its plan to extract oil, asking for studies to first be undertaken whether or not the oil extractors have a contingency plan to dispose of wastes without polluting the environment. Dr. Tom Okurut, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) executive director, said some of the water bodies in the region are trans-boundary, they are shared across boundaries, and that neighboring countries will be waiting in case the country does not devise means of controlling oil wastes from the water bodies. Florence Grace Adongo, DWRM’s director, said that the sh4b equipment will monitor water quality in the Albertine area. “If there is any foreign component in the water, any oil waste, any spill, the graph on the (computer) monitor will shoot up. Then we shall go and investigate and ‘purify’ the polluted area,” she said. At the same function, the water ministry handed over to the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) laboratory equipment for testing/monitoring water quality, worth sh1b.The equipment comprised of high performance liquid chromatograph, automatic ground water level meters, flow meters and multi parametric meters. Robert Anguzu said that the equipment can also be used to help the country against bio-terrorism, as it can detect any foreign substance in the water.

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