Ugandan critics oppose Nile river power plant plan


Ugandan critics oppose Nile river power plant plan
Ugandan protesters

In Summary

  • Located on the Nile between the Ugandan lakes Kyoga and Albert, the Murchison Falls also lend their name to a 3,900 square km national park, one of Uganda’s biggest, where visitors can view lions, hippos, elephants, buffalos and giraffes.

A plan by South Africa’s Bonang Power and Energy to develop a 360 megawatt (MW) power plant on Uganda’s Nile River has met resistance from critics who say the project will destroy the popular tourist attraction of Murchison Falls.

Located on the Nile between the Ugandan lakes Kyoga and Albert, the Murchison Falls also lend their name to a 3,900 square km national park, one of Uganda’s biggest, where visitors can view lions, hippos, elephants, buffalos and giraffes.

On June 7, Uganda’s state-run energy sector regulator Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) published a notice indicating Bonang had applied for a permit for a feasibility study on a 360 megawatt (MW) power project on Murchison Falls.

The announcement has since stoked outrage from private tourism operators, nature enthusiasts and even the government’s own wildlife protection agency.

ERA spokesman Julius Wandera told Reuters a definitive decision on the project had not been taken and a review of the application would take public criticism into consideration.

“It’s just total madness that anybody would think of destroying such an iconic place,” Amos Wekesa, a Ugandan tour operator and one of the critics championing a public campaign against the project told Reuters.

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