Despite the huge contribution Kidepo Valley National Park is making as a tourism hub, the deplorable state of roads in Kaabong District and the entire Karamoja sub-region casts a big shadow on government’s commitment to turn tourism at this valuable natural resource into a high income generating activity.
The area conservation officer, Mr Johnson Masereka says travelling to Kidepo national park from Kampala, which used to take a minimum of 12-hour drive by taxi (about 700km), has now turned into a nightmare because of the worsening condition of the roads in the area.
According to Kidepo park officials, travelling from Mbale to Soroti to Moroto, about 314.7km and then to Kaabong approximately 220.1km by road, used to take about eight hours but now tourists have to endure three days of travel due to bad roads.
Mr Masereka says travelling from Mbale to Soroti to Moroto, about 314.7 km and then to Kaabong approximately 220.1 km by road used to take about eight hours but now tourists have to endure three days of travel due to bad roads.
“They (tourists) tell us they can’t come back because of the bad roads. This means that we are going to lose out on main tourists in this part of the country unless government helps to work on the roads,” Mr Masereka said on Thursday.
“This means that once the roads are not worked upon soon, tourism will have been dealt a heavy blow. And this loss does not only affect us as workers here but also affects the people of Kaabong, Ugandans, and government in terms of revenue,” said Mr Bernard Lotuk, a Uganda Wildlife Authority tour guide at the park.