Kasubi Tombs restoration work to start in early 2013

KASUBI TOMBS RECONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AWARDED

One of Uganda’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Kasubi Tombs of the Kingdom of Buganda, which burned to the ground in March 2010, is now finally seeing some action towards restoration and rebuilding, when news broke overnight that a 2.3. Billion Uganda Shillings contract has finally been signed with a construction company.

Donations were received from UNESCO, which availed 1 million US Dollars towards the reconstruction of the tombs, while the kingdom’ subjects and the Government of Uganda too contributed significant amounts of money. The tombs, which were initially built in 1882 and were until the fire a focal point for the king’s subjects and a must see for visitors from around the world, housed several graves of past Buganda kings and were tended to by a select group of kingdom subjects, trained in the lore and history of looking after the memorial site. Clans traditionally responsible for the maintenance and construction of royal tombs will be closely involved it was learned to uphold the ancient traditions and ensure authentic thatch and wood works when restoring the monuments.

Kasubi was elevated to WHS status by UNESCO in 2001 and the raging fire consumed the traditional wooden frame and thatch structures within hours and with it burned priceless ancient artifacts. Replacements were received from private donations but will also be drawn from other kingdom tombs ahead of the re-opening, as well as from the Uganda Museum but with a construction period of an estimated 15 months that is only expected in mid to late 2014.

Watch this space for progress reports in future editions.

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