According to a public notice issued yesterday, Bujagali Energy limited warns rafters, Kayakers and boaters against using part of the River Nile for their water adventures because it will be dangerous to do so.
“In order to complete the Bujagali hydro power project, beginning February 15, 2011, the east channel of the Nile River at the project site will be closed and the full river flow will be diverted through the new west channel spill way,” the notice reads in part. “As of this date, all rafters, kayakers and boaters will no longer be able to travel down the river past the project site,” reads the notice.
Other river users to be affected include the fishermen and the swimmers. Tour operators and tourists’ bureaus should also bring this to the attention of their customers to avoid inconveniences and the embarrassment that could result.
The notice added that it is important to note that when using the waters upstream there shouldn’t be any diversion as the river flow will be highly turbulent. According to the notice, entering the diversion area could result in severe injury or death, implying that users of the River Nile should exit the river upstream of the diversion area.
Mr Kenneth Kaheru, the Deputy Construction Manager, Bujagali Energy Limited, said there could be some losses, following this development but he said efforts are in place to minimise the damage the diversion could cause. He was however optimistic that only a small part of the river (half a kilometre) will be affected and the remaining part will be perfectly fine and un-tampered with. The half kilometer stretch will later be built on a reservoir.
The General Manager of Uganda Tourism Board, Mr James Bahinguza, said there should be no reason for alarm as there are other segments along the River Nile that can be used for such activities.