NAKASONGOLA, UGANDA -- District authorities in Nakasongola have ordered the managers of UGAPLY, a six-month-old plywood mill, to shut down due to pollution complaints.

According to The New Vision, a letter sent to the UGAPLY managing director noted "Your factory is releasing exhaust fumes that are reported by many town dwellers as irritating and causing breathing discomfort. Other residents, including motorists, are complaining that they at times experience visibility problems due to the thick smoke which descends down the streets.

“You are hereby directed to halt your operations since you have failed to show commitment towards mitigating these factors,” the letter added.

A UGAPLY spokesman replied that the plant,  while manufactured to meet international environmental standards, emitted thick smoke due to "the surrounding topography" of the area. The factory is located between two hills, which is creating a tunnel effect and forcing the smoke in the direction of the town."

The UGAPLY concluded his response by saying the company has ordered a new filtation system to address the problem.

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