Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has defended Government decision to allow a feasibility study to be conducted on building a hydropower plant at Murchison Falls.
He said the contentious issue has sparked misleading debates in the media.
“Government position is very clear. First and foremost, the preservation of Murchison falls is not in question at all. No one wants to touch or change the course of Murchison falls. All of us are very proud that we have Murchison falls as a big asset for tourism and it is going to become even more so as the tourism industry becomes vibrant.”
“So Government has taken a decision that let us study the River Nile and Murchison falls, study Uhuru falls, let us see whether it is possible for additional development to be done without injuring the importance, the natural beauty of Murchison falls,” said Rugunda.
On December 3rd 2019, the outgoing Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Eng. Irene Muloni told press that Government had accepted a feasibility study to be conducted to guide the decision on the development of the hydropower dam on Murchison falls.
This was contrary to the decision taken by Cabinet on 26th August 2019 to entirely halt the process of developing the Uhuru site following public outrage.
Rugunda now says that the country should be enthusiastic and encourage the study.
“So what Government has decided is to carry out a study and you especially the media should be enthusiastic about encouraging a study to take place so that all of us who are discussing the matter can discuss it on the basis of facts, knowledge and information,” he said.
The main concern for conservationists has been that South African company, Bonang Energy and Power limited which applied to construct the dam is the same company accredited by Government to conduct a feasibility study.
The question asked is whether or not the company will put its interests at the forefront while conducting the study?