Bunyoro excluded from government tourism funds

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A woman mines salt at Kibiro Village salt gardens near Kibiro hot spring at the shoreline of Lake Mwitanzige (Albert) in Kigorobya Sub-county, Hoima District.

Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom has been excluded from benefiting from the $600m (approx UGX2.2t) that government plans to spend on the development of the tourism industry in Uganda.

Government schemes to inject the tune into the sector for certain tourism sites so they can be developed in the next five years. But despite Bunyoro having such many heritage tourism sites, it has been left out on the list of the beneficiaries, something that has irked the kingdom leadership.

The Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Minister for Tourism cum Second Deputy Prime Minister, John Apollo Rwamparo, describes as ‘unfair’ government’s stance towards the allocation of these funds when it excluded Bunyoro region from the beneficiaries.

Bunyoro has quite a good number of untapped tourism sites including Fort Katasiha in Hoima City, the giant rock at Haibale in Kigorobya sub-county, Hoima district; Mparo Royal Tombs and underground tunnels in Hoima city among others.

Also there are Kaiso and Nkondo fossil sites in Hoima and Kikuube districts respectively, Munsa and Ensa za Kateboha in Kakumiro district and Hakituuti monument by Muleju (Sir Samuel Baker) in Kyangwali sub-county, Kikuube district among others.

The Kibiro archeological site that has produced natural salt for nearly 1,000 years, too, is an important tourism site that needs not to be ignored as a major tourist attraction in Uganda.

Salt processing at Kibiro Village in Kigorobya Sub-county, Hoima District.

Now, Mr Rwamparo observes that government’s keeping out Bunyoro Kitara kingdom from benefiting from the funds is an indicator that it is not committed to promoting tourism in the region.

According to government, the money will be spent on developing sites like the source of River Nile and Kagulu Hill in Busoga region, and Ruwenzori and Masaba (Elgon) tourism infrastructure projects.

The funds will also be used to develop roads to cultural heritage sites of Bigo bya Mugenyi archeological site in Sembabule district, Nyero rocks in Kumi, Teso sub region and Fort Patiko in Acholi sub region among others.

About Katasiha Fort and Caves

These were constructed by the Omukama (King) of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Kabaleega Cwa II in 1894 as a hideout and defence line when he was fighting against the British colonialists.

The Wambabya River before reaching the site provided the first line of defence for the Omukama’s Abarusuura (army). Omukama Kabaleega mobilised his soldiers to dig up trenches in protective circles with many tunnels which were constructed within a month.

The trenches helped his army to move from one command to another while the tunnels provided a cover from bullets.

Katasiha Fort and Cave is located about 3km on Hoima-Biiso-Butyaba Road.

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