The proposed 40-kilometre road from Kisoro to Kanungu is expected to ease access to tourist attractions in the Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Park tourism value chain. The new road will replace the existing murram road which had become impassable, especially during the rainy seasons, yet it had no safety signage.
One of Uganda’s favourite tourism parks, Bwindi Mgahinga, could soon have an all-weather road as the government takes steps to make road designs. The park is home to an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world's population.
The proposed 40-kilometre road from Kisoro to Kanungu is expected to ease access to tourist attractions in the Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Park
tourism value chain. The new road will replace the existing murram road which had become impassable, especially during the rainy seasons, yet it had no safety signage.
Area residents have previously accused the government of neglecting the road
from Kisoro via Nyarusiza to Muhabura in Kisoro district, forcing them to traverse a
longer route -137 kilometres from Kisoro via Rubanda to Kanungu.
Eng. Emmanuel Twinamatsiko, the Assistant Commissioner at the Ministry of Works and
Transport says the ministry has finalised design studies for the new road, shared cabinet
documents, and held planning meetings with Uganda
National Roads Authority (UNRA) to have the road works start next financial
“We have finalised plans and UNRA has been involved to expedite plans for an all-weather road to be constructed in the Bwindi, Mgahinga conservation area,”
Eng. Twinamatsiko said.
UNRA spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa says the road is
needed to have tourism and other development activities in the conservation
areas carried out well and in a timely manner. But the people familiar with the Bwindi, Mgahinga conservation area say that an all-weather road alone is not a solution to the current
challenges facing the country’s most popular conservation
area for tourism.
According to Bashir Hangi, the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) Communications
Manager, the roads in Bwindi, Mgahinga conservation area
must be improved to improve access for tourists and locals alike. He added that also needed, are roads that will
provide safety for wildlife and the ecosystems and their preservation.
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According to the Ministry of Tourism strategic plan 2017 to 2022, road
construction was set in several tourism zones. The South Western zone including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and associated
environments has nine roads measuring 340km.