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Source of the Nile to be developed into World class Tourism Site

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The ministry of Tourism is planning on a development project at the Source of the Nile in Uganda which aims to enhance the tourist experience by building modern amenities such as a dock, a Nile civilization town, an aquarium, play areas, a Zipline, a modern cruise, a living museum, and more.

Ministry of Tourism is planning on a development project to transform Source of the Nile (SON) in Uganda into World class Tourism Site. As a result, the developer will soon begin work on the project after the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities officials announced they were close to awarding the contract to the developer by the end of this fiscal year (June 2023).

At a stakeholder sensitization workshop for the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) study for the purchase of land for the SON development project conducted at Source of the Nile Hotel-Jinja on Tuesday, Jimmy Andrew Kigozi, a senior tourism officer at the ministry, stated this.

According to Kigozi, the expansion will involve building high-quality, contemporary amenities at the Nile, which will significantly enhance the visiting experience. A modern dock, a Nile civilization town, an aquarium, kid-friendly play areas, a Zipline, a modern cruise, a living museum, modern parking, restaurants, and lodging are just a few of the amenities.

The development of the nation’s many tourist attractions is one of the ministry’s responsibilities. According to him, a census was conducted, and the Nile’s source came out on top as a location that should be developed since it has the potential to draw a lot of people.

It’s important to remember that these projects will be developed in phases in accordance with the National Development Plan (NDPIII).

“There are few activities people can enjoy at the Nile now, like eating fish, and boat cruises. We want to develop the place into a first world-class tourist site, so that when tourists come here, there are several activities they can enjoy, stay longer, spend more, thus boosting our revenue, and economy,” he said. 

The Master Plan and Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Source of the Nile Area were developed by Strategic Friends International (SFI), and he praised them for their excellent work.

With 1.6 million visitors during the fiscal year, tourism contributed 5.6 trillion Ugandan shillings (US$1.60 billion or €1.3 billion as of December 2019) to Uganda’s GDP (World Bank 2019).

The Nyege Nyege International Music and Arts Festival and the Vumbula festival, which aims to bring together all tourism enthusiasts in one location to celebrate Uganda’s beauty, culture, music, and heritage, among other things, are two events that draw both domestic and foreign tourists to Jinja City, which is known as the adventure capital.

According to Henry Kitambula, Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RCC), Jinja City, they are fully in favor of the initiative in their capacity as authorities. He explained that by developing these facilities, more jobs would be created for residents of Buikwe district and Jinja City, as well as for many others who would be able to supply goods and services, so enhancing their socioeconomic situation. He remembered being astonished during his first visit to the SON. Although he said it had a well-known international name, the website is completely unreliable.

“Whoever visits the Nile the first time, they wonder why they came. The only thing you see is people eating fish and those on boat cruises. Nothing else attracts people. But if it is well developed, it can attract many more tourists than it does now,” he said. 

The project will face setbacks if people are not properly informed, he urged the leaders at the municipal and district levels to mobilize their communities and inform them about the project’s goals and the benefits they stand to get.

Former Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Hon. Daudi Migerekko, urged officials in charge of the project to move more quickly. He concurred that this effort is long overdue with several other speakers.

“The pace at which we do things in this country is not good, and we must change. Plans to transform this place have been ongoing for way too long. This is an appeal to the consultants and the Ministry of Tourism! Can we move faster, we want to see things on the ground taking off. The willingness of the people to support the project will be greatly enhanced when they see action,” he stated.

According to Dr. Kosea Wambaka, the team leader for the Source of the Nile development project at Strategic Friends International (SFI), 3 kilometers have been set aside for this project beginning at the Nile’s source.

He explained that in order to recompense everyone who will be impacted by the project, the company would soon begin conducting social-economic and cadastral surveys. Dr. Wambaka gave everyone the reassurance that the project would be extremely transparent, and that people impacted by it would receive fair compensation under this settlement action plan.

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