Richard Kigwe, a Geologist at the facility explained to URN that for the last three decades, the lost glory of the museum has not yet been fully restored to the required level because vital samples were either robbed or tampered with.
The Directorate of
Geological Survey and Mines is struggling to replace mineral sample collections
plundered from its museum by insurgents in the early 1980s.
In the 1980s, the facility shelved over 35 mineral samples
that included iron
ore, copper, uranium, gold, and different rock samples collected from different
parts of Uganda. These were meant to
provide vital data on mineral exploration and development to attract investment
in the country.
The looting happened during
the revolutionary struggle between then National Resistance Army – NRA led by
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the Uganda National Liberation Army – UNLA soldiers under the Milton Obote and later Tito Okello regime.
Richard Kigwe, a Geologist at the facility
explained to URN that for the last three decades, the lost glory of the museum
has not yet been fully restored to the required level because vital samples
were either robbed or tampered with.
//Cue in; “They invaded the…
Cue out…during those times.”//
Kigwe says while the facility located along
Johnson Road in Entebbe Municipality has over the years been renovated, the
experts at the facility continue to gradually recollect new samples for
laboratory analysis, especially whenever they have facilitation.
//Cue in; “When we visit…
Cue out…we cannot move.”//
Molly Kibalama Bakke Male, another Geologist, says that the museum still lacks crucial information on
rock samples whose labels were vandalized, adding that they find it difficult to explain to investors
who regularly visit the museum to obtain evidence for investment decisions.
//Cue in; “Investors come in…
Cue out…there is mine there,”//
Vincent Kedi, the Acting Director of Mines notes that the
facility has since failed to get the anticipated facelift coupled with
understaffing. There are only seven Mines Inspectors who are overstretched to
conduct surveys for the entire country amid funding shortfalls.
//Cue in; “Some shelves are…
Cue out…some minerals around,”//
During her ministerial visit to the facility early
this month, Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development
tasked the officials
to ensure visibility by writing more proposals tailored at attracting funders
and creating visibility.
Formerly the Department of Geological Surveys and
Mines, the establishment came into existence in 1918 during the colonial era.
It was later transformed into a full Directorate in 1920 under the Ministry of
Energy and Mineral Development to deal with the Geology, Geothermal resources,
and Mines Development activities.
The principal achievements of the Directorate
include the recognition and description of the main rock groups of the
Protectorate, the discovery of the mineralized areas of Buganda, Ankole,
Bunyoro, Karamoja, Northern Uganda, and the Rwenzori areas among others.
The Directorate provides other services that
include data dissemination to attract investment in the country’s mineral
sector, licensing and inspection, mineral exploration and development,
geothermal resource development, laboratory services, geophysics, and seismic
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.