Strange substance bubbling from ground in Pakwach

Strange substance bubbling from ground in Pakwach
Unidentified whitish liquid substance from the ground in Panyimur, Pakwach District. Courtesy Photo/URN

An unidentified whitish liquid substance is bubbling from the ground in a village in Panyimur Sub-county, Pakwach District, causing anxiety among the residents.

The affected village is Rwanga, also the location of the Panyimur pier of the Panyimur-Wanseko ferry.

The village has deposits of a whitish development mineral locally known as Oza, which forms in hardened layers in the ground. Locals extract it to floor and paint their huts.

Lammy Ocamker, a local, says the substance has been bubbling out since November, also a month the area experienced heavy rains.

According to the sub-county chairman, Shaban Ofoy, the liquid substance looks like Oza, but the concern is that a liquid form from the ground had never been witnessed in the area.

Ofoy says environment officers from Pakwach visited the scene and took pictures and samples to be taken to the Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines in Entebbe for examination.

Ofoy says it is important to know the substance and its properties, especially whether it poses health risks to the public. According to Ofoy, if the substance is determined to be Oza, it would be crucial to explore how to add value and commercialise it.

Neither the Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines, nor the Pakwach District Environment Officer, could be reached by the time of filing this report.

Panyimur falls in the Western Rift Valley and sits on the western shore of Lake Albert.

In addition to the Oza and other rocks, the Panyimur area also has the Amuro Pii hostpring, one of the top four in the country being considered for geothermal development.

Panyimur also forms part of the oil-rich Lake Albert Basin.