Now open!!!! All-weather bridge, a new experience for Rwenzori trekkers.

Now open!!!! All-weather bridge, a new experience for Rwenzori trekkers.

Thanks to the government of Uganda and UNRA (Uganda National Roads Authority). This all weather bridge is a timely solution to flooding in the Rwenzori mountains region. During this time of climate change and global worming, weather patterns of many areas have changed. It is evident that due the changed weather patterns, the world is facing more floods and longer /extended droughts. This climatic change calls for necessary adjustment of all infrastructure to be able to adapt the social economic activities of every country to global climate changes. It has been observed that every rain season during April- May and September – November in Uganda, the Rwenzori region, mount Elgon region and many other areas of Uganda experience floods that cut communication lines or cause landslides leading to loss of lives and property. Likewise the Rwenzori trekking routes have been disrupted by the flooding rivers; River Nyamwamba on the Kilembe southern route and River Ruboni on the Nyakalengija central circuite route. Many times in ruboni village, the community has been working with the local government after flooding incidences, to do minor repairs that only serve for a short period or completely fail to protect the temporary bridges during heavy floods.

River Ruboni is located between the base camp and Mihunga gate of Rwenzori mountains National park. This road is also the trail head to Ruboni community camp and Other several accommodation facilities in Mihunga village.  During the floods, the tourists to Mihunga accommodation facilities get forced to park their vehicles in the village and walk three kilometers to the accommodation facilities. The farmers alike, get forced to carry their produce on the back to bring them to the village.

This time, the bridge has been done to permanent standards that will accommodate all weather through the year. All the tourism investors and community members in this area served by this road are excited about this achievement. This new bridge that has just been completed is a solution to flooding creating a better future for transportation of the tourists and agro-produce on this gateway road. The bridge is part of the current UNRA project of upgrading this 17km road from Nkenda to the park gate.

Rwenzori Mountains national park is one of the least visited national parks in Uganda. The community and tourism players in this area feel that, one of the reasons for low visitation could be poor road access to the park gates. The 17km gate way is located off fort portal-Kasese road, one of Uganda’s main tourist route that connects several parks north and south of the Albertain rift including Kibale forest national park, Semulike National park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls national park and Bwindi national park.

The community is hopeful that easy access to the Rwenzori on better roads and bridges, will increase the number of people who want to stop by for short time activities and hence the popularity of Rwenzori could increase in the tourism market. Other than that, the farmers will find it easy to transport their produce to the market in big quantities on trucks as opposed to carrying it in small amounts, commonly in small sacks on their back.