National News


By Van Deguras

Kigezi: They argue that they have been burdened by an unstable electricity supply since the year began, which has greatly affected their businesses and caused them to lose a lot of money over daily power outages.

Mr. Byegoma Nicholas, the managing director of Arcadia Lodges, speaking during the Uganda Tourism Board stakeholder’s engagement held at Arcadia Lodges in Kitumba sub-county, Kabale district, said that they have been affected by electricity supply every minute, which puts business at a standstill.

The meeting between Kigezi tourism cluster stakeholders and Uganda Tourism Board management and staff aimed at performance review, challenges, and solutions in a move to promote tourism in the Kigezi region.

Mr. Byegoma revealed that due to an unstable power supply, he’s forced to use a generator 24/7, adding that he injects 25 million shillings in fuel to keep the business running and noting that he is also required to pay the electricity bills of about five million shillings every month.

Byegoma asked the government to prioritize the industry sector like any other industry in Uganda and provide standby generators to keep the business moving.

Mr. Twinomujuni Parite, the proprietor of Hawks Eye in Bunyonyi, said that it’s a pity that all the funds they earn are used to fuel the generators over the consistently unreliable electricity in the Kigezi region.

He added that an unreliable power supply has forced tourists to dodge their facilities and go to other places like Rwanda, which has hindered the sector.

“The country should have priority for improving electricity; we won’t be able to attract tourists if they have unreliable electricity,” he said.

Mr. Mbabazi Ivan Batuma, the Chairperson of the Kigezi Tourism Sector, notes that as Kigezi, they contribute a big part of the revenue taxes totaling 65% but wonders why the government has continuously left them behind in solving the issues of electricity in the region.

He said that power is affecting the industry greatly and that using generators is becoming expensive. He adds that tourists are facing difficulties in the hotels with their gadgets.

Mr. Mbabazi requested the government consider Kigezi as a special tourism area, thus asking the government to provide stable power.

The Uganda Tourism Board Chairperson, Daudi Migereko, revealed that the most critical issues they have been dealing with are issues of encouraging people to be part of the tourism industry,

He says they will forward the issues discussed in the meeting to the government so that they are worked on for the betterment of the tourism sector in the Kigezi region.

Issues that were raised include the poor state of tourism roads, unreliable power supplies, and bad attitudes towards tourists in communities.

The Kigezi Tourism Cluster Platform (KTCP) is a consortium of various tourism stakeholders in the Kigezi region.

Kigezi Region covers what are now Kabale, Kanungu, Kisoro, Rukiga, Rubanda, and Rukungiri districts in southwest Uganda.

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