Koshie Mills, a Los Angeles based media mogul was in Uganda for an 8-day visit under the UTB initiative “ Back to the SourceTours” where she visited Karamoja district, Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Parks. Her visit came weeks after the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) published a notice in newspapers about an application from Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited to construct a hydropower dam on Murchison Falls, a notice which led to organizations like the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a government body responsible for tourism and wildlife conservation in Uganda together with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) responsible for tourism product development and marketing in Uganda and the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) which joins together all travel and tour operators in Uganda to start the “SAVE MURCHISON FALL” campaign via social media networks mainly Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and emails urging lovers of Murchison fall to petition against the hydropower project proposal. Interestingly, the campaign has been welcomed and joined by several people counting to over 25,000 by now.
Murchison falls is one of the natural wonders that made Uganda be called the “Pearl of Africa”. The falls descend through a 45 meters wall through an eight-meter wide gorge hence giving it a scenic look and the thunderous roar of the waters before it continues into the Nile river. The falls is undeniably one of the top tourist attractions in the country, a must-visit by most travelers on Uganda safari.
Under this initiative, Mills is working to entice people of African descent to come back and visit their home continent. During a press conference held at Serena Hotel Kampala on Sunday 8th/12/2019, when asked what her thoughts were on the government’s plan to construct the dam she responded “ when I heard in whispers that the majestic falls are to go away I was in tears. But why? That will be a tragedy. Africa needs to preserve its heritage and conserve it because that is what we need to offer the world. The Falls should not be touched.”
According to UTB’S Marketing manager, Uganda is targeting four million visitors by 2020 and the initiative is one of the things to make this possible. Under this initiative, Uganda is expected to receive and host more Hollywood celebrities between December 1 and January 6th to promote Uganda as a tourist destination.
The number of tourists flocking into Uganda in 2018 increased to 1.8 million from 2017’s 1.4 million, with Murchison Falls National Park being the second biggest contributor to the tourism revenue.