From Virunga To Uganda: Put on Your Boots, Save Murchison Falls!

There is a revived public outcry following media reports that government has proceeded with plans to allow the construction of a hydropower dam near one of Uganda‘s most spectacular natural attractions Murchison Falls.

Earlier with year stakeholders in the tourism sector launch the protest calling on government to cancel plans for the dam project. They said this was a threat to the waterfalls and said it undermined efforts towards conservation.

The concern stemmed from an advert carried in The New Vision newspaper on June 7, the electricity regulatory authority (ERA) where ERA announced a notice of intended application for a license from Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited.

Bonang Intended to construct a Hydro power at Uhuru falls upriver of the Murchison Falls in Murchison Falls national Park.

The proposed site for the dam had coordinates similar to those of the Murchison waterfalls, which implies that the Dam will be erected at the very place where the falls are situated.

In August , there were reports that cabinet has reversed his decision and action that was welcomed by the private tour operators.

However, on Thursday New Vision, daily newspaper reported that cabinet had cleared feasibility studies for the construction of a dam at the Uhuru Falls in the Murchison Falls National Park.

State Minister of tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda is quoted as having said on Wednesday that: “We need to investigate through the implications of the power Dam. We have backtracked on an earlier decision where cabinet had resolved that the feasibility study should not be conducted”.

The statement has against outrage within the wider public as well as your tour operators.

Amos Wekesa, the proprietor of Great Lakes Safari said on Thursday that the president is being misled.

“I think someone has misled the president… government has built a highway through Murchison Falls, oil exploration has its toll on Murchison falls,” Wekesa posted on Facebook.

“Now they want to build three extra dams in Murchison Falls? Guys should simply say they don’t value tourism. You destroy Uhuru, you destroyed Murchison falls,” he added.

He said we should defend Murchison Falls.

The latest development had revived a social media campaign under a hashtag #SaveMurchisonFalls with an aim to protect the attraction.

Tour operators have previously advised the government begins to explore other alternative sources of energy such as solar, bioenergy and other green energy systems.

“It is high time we rethought our strategy towards energy generation and distribution in order to mitigate the effects of climate change” Evarist Kayond, the chairman of the association of Uganda tour operators said in August.

Source: SoftPower