The Kigezi Tourism Cluster Platform (KTCP) with sponsorship from MTN Uganda has concluded the first ever Kigezi Marathon held this morning inKabale town under the theme “Conserve Lake Bunyonyi, Save Lives”.
The marathon was preceded by Tourism Festival dubbed the “Lake Bunyonyi Tourism Festival” at the Lake Bunyonyi Safaris Resort on 1st June 2019 where the cultural Heritage of the Lake was showcased with a climax of Boat races on Bunyonyi, the deepest lake in Uganda and third deepest worldwide.
Parity Twinomujuni, the Festival and Marathon Committee Chair said that:
“The Cluster has noted with concern that Lake Bunyonyi’s sustainability is under threat due to silting, and the health of the surrounding communities is at risk. To address this environmental, social and economic challenge, the Cluster resolved to start an Annual Kigezi Tourism Festival and Marathon to raise funds and sensitize the communities about conserving the lake.”
The funds raised will be used to purchase 10,000 tree seedlings and re-roof the buildings of Bwama Hospital which were blown away by the wind. Winners of the 21km and 10km race were awarded with cash and non-cash prizes at the Kabale Stadium today.
While delivering the Keynote speech on behalf of Rt.Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda the Prime minister of the Republic of Uganda, Kenneth Jogo Biryabarema, Rubanda district Chair congratulated the people of Kigezi upon embracing tourism and making the necessary effort to promote it in their region.
“Lake Bunyonyi is a major tourist attraction but it is under threat of drying up. We need to conserve it and sensitize the people who live near it not to pollute it,” Biryabarema said.
Tony Katwere, the MTN Uganda’s Western Region Manager said that MTN Uganda sponsored the noble following its commitment to touching the lives of its clients across the country in all possible ways.
“Tourism is an important sector to the country and saving Lake Bunyonyi is in our best interest as MTN Uganda. We pledge to keep supporting this great initiative in whichever way we can,” Katwere said.
Uganda’s tourism industry is a major driver of employment, investment and foreign exchange, contributing 4.9 trillion annually (as of August 2013) to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product.
Established in 2011, KTCP is a multi-stakeholder platform that promotes tourism and environmental conservation in the five districts of the Kigezi region. The main activities of this platform are; Advocacy for tourism related development and environmental conservation, Tourism and Conservation research and Marketing the Kigezi region as a unique Tourism destination.