If you have visited Ishasha sector the southern park of Queen Elizabeth National Park well know for the tree climbing lions, then you have probably used the Katunguru –Kihihi road continuing up to the Ishasha boarder of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
State maintained infrastructure like Roads especially in the tourism industry are supposed to help us make money but not loose any monies. I personally invest a lot of money to market my beautiful country Uganda “The Pearl of Africa” through marketing, administration and logistically, hence I pay lots of taxes in the process – therefore it hurts me when I loose money because of the poor maintained infrastructure like the above mentioned road.
This road is deteriorating every day to an extent that some potholes are now breeding areas for cut fish and mad fish! This road is just 70KM from Katunguru to Ishasha which is supposed to be roughly 1.5 -2hrs with stopovers for tourists but now it takes 3.5 – 4hrs hence delaying activities like a game drive in the park for the search of the tree climbing lions and those passing through connecting to Bwindi Impenetrable national park loose lots of time and miss the game drive because of state of the road.
On the other hand, this road is very unsafe for our tourists and driver guides in case of any mechanical problem in the middle of the journey as its in the middle of the maramagambo forest and Lake Albert. For instance, today I got a mechanical problem due to the hard potholes I had to call for rescue from Kasese and Butogota as they are the nearest towns, put in mind that no nearest restaurant in the middle of no where! and had to wait for almost 3hrs for the mechanic to come – here you can imagine what the guests were thinking, you very well know that on a tour/safari time is a very important factor.
Without pointing fingers, I wish to be advised who is the concerned parties on working on working and maintaining this road! However, I also wish to know are our tourism ambassadors aware of this state of the road, has our minister both the state & cabinet minister used this road? Has the UWA wardens in this park made any report about the road? If not, why? I demand to know your Job description both of you! Muhiire Abdul Uganda Parks you have marketed this kigezi and Kihihi region in particular, have you tabled this problem or have you used the road your self? Alex Ruhunda I don’t think that it won’t happen if you still fly from Entebbe to Kihihi for gorilla trekking instead of using road transport which will make you understand the situation of the infrastructure of the region your leading and marketing. Why is the media concentrating on irrelevant news like Ebola and others instead of publishing the most pressing issues like these, Andrew M. Mwenda have travelled in this part of the country as I don’t hear or read any articles that tackles the tourism industry especially on issues you should be feeling sorry that this country has failed us – you are a journalist why aren’t you on our said despite the fact that you dine with most of the tourism icons? Don’t they advise you on our state of the industry? Please come to our rescue !!
The peak season is coming up and many cars are going to be flooding this region as Ishasha is one of the most sold park due the tree climbing lions, do you know how many cars breakdown due to the potholes, do you want our guests to keep loosing time and us loosing business because you (GOVERNMENT) you don’t care? As a concerned citizen, entrepreneur and stake holder in Uganda I demand for answers to the above questions especially from my ministers, let me know if your only appointed to officiate ceremonies like Rolex launch only. I have a right to know your job description because you are our voice to other ministries like that of WORKS!
My fellow guides, hoteliers and tour operators, we invest a lot of resources & time to market our country and operate these businesses’ join me to rise noise on such issues as we are here to make money not loose money and our resources due to the neglect of our unconcerned misleaders. The season is starting soon I don’t think there is anyone of you who wishes to have a bad revue or loose business because of the poor road of just 70KM. note that this is one of the only mentioned roads, however there other more roads which has made our work difficult!
This Voice is from Rukundo Samuel aka the City Birder