The most direct connection for travel by road between Murchisons Falls National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park, with Kibale forest, Mt.Rwenzori and the Semliki Game Reserve also enroute, has been cut yesterday when the Muzizi river burst its banks following prolonged heavy rains lashing the catchment areas.
Ongoing work, aimed to repair damage to a key bridge and dredge the river area of debris from earlier flooding came to a stop as machinery was also swept away as wave after wave of flash floods came rushing down the river.
Road transport between Hoima and Fort Portal has been diverted and now either passed all the way via Kampala or else has to use back roads which in view of the rains are not a safe bet as they are not tarred and may see vehicles get stuck in mud, further complicating an already difficult situation.
Conservationists were swift in pointing fingers at a lack of implementation of environmental policies and excessive cutting of forests, which according to a regular source diminishes the capacity to absorb heavy rain fall and then results in flooding downstream of the rivers. He went on to say: The same will happen if a quarter of Mabira is given away for sugar cane farming. The forest would lose valuable trees and the land can then not absorb rainfall any longer the way it used to. Flash flooding and soil erosion will be the first signs of the fallout but it will be too late then to do much about it. We need to restore forests to prevent environmental damages like with the Muzizi river. Yes it has flooded in the past too but never so extensively like now when it disrupts traffic from one part of the country to another.
It could not be established overnight if or how many safari tours were disrupted and had to opt for the longer detour via the capital.