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19 Nov 2016

Nandudu Prossy, New Vision (Uganda)

Lobby groups urge govt. to ensure horticultural farms adhere to safety regulations after Royal Van Zanten's workers inhale toxic fumigant

“Investors to be inspected to ensure safety of workers”

[The g]overnment has been asked to inspect all multinational companies and investors setting up in Uganda so as to hold them accountable where they fall short of health and safety requirements. This will protect Ugandan workers working with such companies. The call was made by civil society organizations that were responding to recent allegations from workers of the Royal Van Zanten, a flower farm based in Kyengera that, they were forced into a greenhouse that had just been sprayed resulting into health complications.

The executive director of the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA) one the CSOs that addressed the press, Irene Ovonji said the actions of RVZ and other farms in the horticulture sector violates Ugandan laws and EU global standards on business, investment and human rights…According the workers, the green house had been sprayed the previous night and workers were asked to harvest the flowers the following day, exposing them to the chemical that turned into poison in their bodies.