The Eco-Tourism Center in Masaka has been abandoned. The abandoned facility is located at Kijabwemi trading center near National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Masaka town.
This facility called an Observatory was constructed in 2004 by Nature Uganda to serve as a watchtower for tourists seeking to watch unique birds and animals in Nabajjuzi Ramzar site.
Nabajjuzi Ramzar Site where the observatory is located receives estimated 60 international tourists every month and more than 20 schools every month who visit the facility for study tours. This observatory is equipped with Binoculars, Telescopes and Guidebooks to help in the nature walk.
Some of the birds and animals tourists visit the place to see is Sitatunga antelope, the endangered Shoebill, papyrus yellow Weber and more than 5000 individual birds.
This observatory is the only known environmentally friendly rest place on Masaka-Mbarara road, fully equipped with refreshments and hand crafts made by the surrounding local communities.
However, despite the seemingly numerous tourists, the place has been abandoned. When URN reporter visited the facility on three occasions it was under key with no sign of activity. There was no one to host tourists at a time when URN visited the observatory.
Mutagubya Tonny, the Nature Uganda Tour Guide at the facility has since relocated to Nature Uganda offices located in Kizuungu zone near Masaka Sports Club. Speaking to URN from his office, Mutagubya says the facility has been left because the stairs to the watchtower collapsed and it is no longer in use.
Mutagubya explains that Nature Uganda developed a plan of renovating the facility but the renovation process is taking longer than expected.
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It is not clear when the renovation process will start because Nature Uganda is none committal on the funds needed and at what level is the process.
But Masaka Municipality authorities, partners with Nature Uganda in the renovation process say they are not aware that the facility has been abandoned.
Kasibante Kibabilire, the Masaka Mayor says Masaka Municipality that helped in its construction has never received any funds requests for renovation.