Ugandans across the board have continued the campaign to save Murchison Falls from destruction.
This, even after the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) requested the general public and ‘all stakeholders to submit their comments and or objections in writing’ to the Secretary to the Authority within 30 Days.
ERA also stated that they had not yet issued any license to construct a hydro-power dam on Murchison Falls, according to a statement dated June 12.
The new statement, the second in as many days, follows an uproar from the general public and tourism enthusiasts after news last week filtered through that ERA had received a notice of intended application for a licence from two companies intending to construct a dam along the falls.
“ERA has under section 29 of the Electricity Act 1999 received a notice from Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited for the generation and sale of electricity from a hydro power plant proposed to be established near Murchison Falls in Kiryandongo and Nwoya districts,” an advert in government owned New Vision stated.
The project is located within the coordinates 2•16’42.6″N, 31•41’08.8″E which is the same location of water falls.
On Wednesday, ERA said, ‘Reference is made to the reports circulating in media in respect to a in subject published by ERA. In light of the public reactions to the notice… Era wishes to clarify that it is ‘mandated under Section 29 of the Electricity Act, 1999 ( ‘the Act’), to receive and process applications for licenses. In line with this mandate, on 25th A pril 2019, ERA received an Application for a permit to conduct feasibility studies from Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited.’
“According to Section 30 of the Electricity Act, 1999, on receipt of such an Application, ERA is required to cause the notice to be published in the Gazette, to inform the general public and invite parties affected by the application to submit comments and objections,” the statement reads.
ERA may or may not, after the receipt of the comments under section 30, issue a permit to the intended applicant.
“In light of the above, ERA appreciates the feedbac k that has been shared by stakeholders through various communication channels, in line with the Application by Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited. However, only formal submissions are considered by the Electricity Regulatory Authority while undertaking a decision on Applications for Licenses,” the statement reads.
The second statement has still not gone down well with Ugandans.
“Just the idea of thinking about this as an idea is in itself utter madness. You want to destroy the world’s strongest waterfall? All for what when we have power plants dotting every river around the country and still we can’t quite have enough power?” Abbey Rafsanjan asked.
Ntate Rwatamagufa Omusigi said: “Do we have imbeciles in ERA? Have these guys sold their souls for money? Do they ever think that the people before them conserved these natural resources so that future generations could appreciate the beauty of this land? Are they carrying empty heads? STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM MURCHISON FALLS.”
Peter Karizha: Electricity Regulatory Authority back off Murchison falls, I as a customer, citizen I put my voice to say this permit to conduct feasibility studied be rejected immediately. Let’s preserve our God given heritage that has not only served our fore father’s but to serve our future children and foreigners who will come to see this master piece.
Sande David: Please be reasonable! Murchison Falls, the most powerful waterfalls in the world is a natural wonder that we will never regain if lost.. Other sources of electricity are available and more shall be discovered but you will never discover another Murchison Falls.. Please keep off!!!!!!!
Ronald Mugabe: I hear application to do feasibility studies for a plant near the falls. And u think we are dense not to know where all this will lead. Just shred the application and let us continue life like no application was ever submitted. Let the applicants go make a man-made river in their backyard and build the power plant if they badly need one. Stay off Murchison falls.