“We will not build a dam at Murchison Falls”: Minister

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The minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Earnest Kiiza has assured the public that the proposed hydro-power dam construction at the Murchison Falls near the southern border of Murchison Falls National Park. He says it was just a proposal and the cabinet has lost interest in approving.

He made the remarks while in an interview with Kazi-njema News about the controversial power project and the delayed Final Investment Discussion in Uganda’s oil industry.

Since last year, the plan has attracted condemnation form environmental activists and Bunyoro Kitara kingdom on ground that it would negatively affect the historical tourist attractions at the beautiful scenery of Murchison falls. It would also pose numerous environmental challenges since it lies near the United Nations Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised Ramsar Site. It is also of cultural value to Bunyoro Kingdom basing on the fact that it was named ‘Kabalega Falls’ after their ancient king ‘Omukama Kabalega’ before it was replaced by the British colonialism.

If the government continued to construct the dam there, it would perhaps tantamount to abrogation of the Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention. It is an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO and came into force in 1975. It provides for national action and international cooperation regarding the conservation of wetlands, and wise sustainable use of their resources.

Falls

On the Final Investment Decision (FID) making by government and oil companies Hon. Kiiza said, the decision will be made very soon. He urges the public heighten preparations to yap into the oil industry instead of getting demoralized by the delayed FID.

He said the government is slow but sure to ensure that all the oil production and benefit sharing agreements are signed in the best interest of the country.

The FID that will trigger an investment of $20 billion in Uganda has been waited since June 2019.

{AUDIO – Minister, Earnest Kiiza}

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