Conservationists, tour operators detest government decision on Murchison falls

By Deo Wasswa

Stake holders in the tourism sector including tour operators, conservationists, civil society organizations and local communities have vowed to continue the fighting government's decision to giveaway Uhuru falls, a section of Murchison falls towards the generation of hydro power.

On 3rd December 2019, a press statement by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development indicated that the Government of Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with M/S Bonang Energy and Power Ltd from the Republic of South Africa with its Norconsult and JSC Institute Hydro project to undertake detailed feasibility studies for a proposed Hydro power Project at Uhuru Falls located adjacent and parallel to the mighty Murchison Falls in Murchison Falls National Park.

While a team of over 200 people led by Everest Kayondo, chairperson Uganda tour operator’s body and journalists on 10th December toured the two falls , they established that there is construction of a tarmac road in the national park that will ease the ferrying of the construction material on the site.

Speaking to journalists, Kayondo urged the government to stop misleading the public that the project will be executed at Uhuru falls because the said falls are seasonal and depend largely on the Murchison falls.

Kayondo adds that the top of the falls also hold important cultural and historical regalia of great significance to the host communities from the many districts surrounding the park.

He noted that almost 70% of tourists who visits this National Park come to see these two waterfalls.

However, latest reports indicate that parliament has summoned minister Irene Muloni to explain these new developments.