Bunyoro opposes construction of hydro power dam at Murchison Falls

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Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom has opposed the construction of a hydro power dam at Murchison Falls.

Andrew Byakutaaga, the kingdom Prime Minister says the institution and its subjects strongly condemn the move. He vows that the kingdom will not allow government to construct the hydro power dam at the falls.

Byakutaaga adds that establishment of the dam at the falls will destroy the tourist and heritage site for Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom.

He says that the kingdom and the subjects will not tolerate any development aimed at destroying the site that brings in both local and foreign tourists.

“The kingdom has already petitioned the Electricity Regulation Authority (ERA) warning them not to make any attempts to construct a power dam on Murchison Falls,” reveals Byakutaaga.

Apollo Rwamparo, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Antiquities in Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom says the kingdom will not allow government to give away Murchison (locally known as Kabaleega) Falls for the construction of a hydro power station since it is a bio-cultural site.

He advises government to cancel dealings with any company that wants to construct a dam at the site.

The kingdom’s take follows government’s resurrection of its plan to construct a power dam at the falls.

Recently, Tourism State Minister, Godfrey Kiwanda said government had approved a proposal for a feasibility study at Murchison Falls to pave way for the establishment of the power dam.

“We need to conserve our environment. But we also need electricity because if we don’t produce power, people may end up cutting trees for fuel and destroy the environment’” Kiwanda said.

At the beginning of this year, ERA published a notice that it had received an application from Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Ltd for the construction of a hydro power dam at Murchison Falls that occupies Kiryandongo and Nwoya districts.

The move met resistance from local tourists and residents, tourism companies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and conservationists saying the project will deal a big blow to the heritage and tourism sector.

A week ago, around 20 CSOs led by Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) wrote to President Yoweri Museveni rejecting the proposed construction of the hydro power dam at Murchison Falls.

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