Say no to plans for a road through Bwindi

SERENGETI HIGHWAY MENTALITY BROUGHT TO BWINDI

(Posted 26th December 2013)

True, it would shorten the way a lot between Kisoro and the Buhoma side of the Bwindi Forest but it would also completely wreck the park and I bet it would not take long before a gorilla group will be mowed down by a speeding car’ commented a leading Ugandan tourism stakeholder overnight as news emerged that district leaders from the South West of Uganda had demanded that government construct a road across the park. ‘We are dealing with hopelessly ignorant political peasants here who have no appreciation for what they have. UWA has habituted many new gorilla groups over the last years and they are spread around the entire Bwindi forest. Government has completed the new road from Kabale to Kisoro, which opened up that part of the country. I thank you by the way for highlighting the tourist attractions in the last two The Eye editions which has helped that part of Uganda to become more popular. Those who want a quick crossing, they can even hike through the forest from Buhoma to Nteko and Nkuringo but a road is the last thing we can allow through that park. Gorillas are our most high profile tourism activity and we are known for that around the world. If news get out that we have such demands for local politicians, that will for sure get another campaign underway like you triggered for the Serengeti highway. We need to shut this down immediately and once and for all. There must be no road, ever, across Bwindi’ the source then added.

Singled out for this intended assault on Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park were local politicians from Kanungu district, a Miss Josephine Kasya, and Kisoro politician John Nizeyimana, the latter of both exposed for his lack of comprehension when he reportedly babbled about the benefit of quick access to intermarry between the two districts. He was further ridiculed over remarks that because gorillas share 98 percent of the human DNA they would be able to adapt to the road and the traffic. ‘Such buffoons give Uganda a bad name, they make people think we are all uneducated and ignorant but in truth it is only a few politicians who I must admit score highly along those lines. They say anything to garner favour with the voters, next he will propose because gorillas share so much DNA they should get voters cards and vote for him? Surely that is the most idiotic thing I have heard all year that gorillas could adapt to road traffic’ was the parting shot of the source, clearly seething with anger over the road plans.

Understandably were no park officials available for comment over the Christmas holidays but it is known that UWA is strictly opposed to interfering with the integrity of Bwindi’s habitat as it is the park with the highest earnings for them, besides that any interference with the ecosystem would bring widespread global condemnation from the conservation fraternity. Unlike the highway plans for the Serengeti, where the Tanzanian government seems to have lost its way and is putting mining and commercial interests before conservation, it is not expected that the central government in Kampala will entertain such requests. Christmas is sure the season for bearing gifts but these politicians got perhaps carried away under the influence of the holiday spirit, if not something stronger.

Bwindi is one of Uganda’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and as such invaluable for the promotion of tourism for the country. Visit www.ugandawildlife.org or www.visituganda.com for more information about Bwindi and the other 9 national parks of Uganda.

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