Left Menu
Development News Edition

Ugandan critics oppose Nile river power plant plan

Reuters | Updated: 11-06-2019 14:45 IST | Created: 11-06-2019 14:25 IST
Ugandan critics oppose Nile river power plant plan
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. Image Credit: Pixabay

A plan by South Africa's Bonang Power and Energy to develop a 360 megawatt (MW) power plant on Uganda's River Nile 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 July 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. "It's just unacceptable to even start discussing the destruction of the most powerful waterfalls in Uganda for the sake of 360 MW."

The government of President Yoweri Museveni has increased efforts to expand the country's energy generating capacity to help fuel an industrialisation drive. Earlier this year a 183 MW dam on the same river, built with a Chinese loan was commissioned. Another with 600 MW capacity, also China-financed, is due for commissioning later this year.

Authorities have also been courting private investors such as Bonang to help take up some of the projects so the government would not have to directly fund them, often requiring borrowing that is ballooning the country's public debt. Founded in 2014 by South African entrepreneur, Ernest Moloi, Bonang specialises in renewable energy projects in Africa. Bashir Hangi, a spokesman for state-run Uganda Wildlife Authority told Reuters the destruction of the waterfalls would take away the park's cachet and ruin its beauty.



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

Nearly one billion people scared of losing homes or land, poll finds

Almost one billion people around the world fear to lose their homes or land within five years, with owners and tenants in Burkina Faso and the Philippines the most concerned, a survey of 140 nations showed on Wednesday.About one in five adu...

Tech-Enabled Startup Shopmatic Registers 200 Percent Growth Amidst Global Pandemic

Amid the ongoing global pandemic, Shopmatic, leading Singapore-based e-commerce enabler registered tremendous growth in the April-June 2020 quarter New Delhi, Delhi, India Business Wire India At a time when businesses are struggling to ...

Young activists, localists top Hong Kong pro-democracy polls

Young activists and localist candidates dominated Hong Kongs unofficial pro-democracy primaries over the weekend, with hundreds of thousands of people voting despite warnings the election could violate the territorys new security law impose...


Following are the top stories at 530 pm NATION DEL68 SINOINDIA-LADAKH Follow all agreed protocols for border management Indias clear message to China in marathon military talks New Delhi The Indian military conveyed a very c...

Give Feedback