By Steven Masiga in Mbale and Sta News Editor
Residents in the mountain Elgon area have had serious challenges in transportation on account of poor road network especially during rainy season.
In such seasons, most roads right from Bukalasi to Butandiga up to Mukoto become impassable.
However, if all goes according to plan, these residents may soon begin using modern means of transport in form of cable cars. Cable cars are mostly used in the western world such as in parts of Austria and parts of Swish Alps, among others. They are faster and 99% accident free. Somebody going to Bukalasi might just pick one around Wanale hill in Mbale or alternatively,one heading to Butandiga will pick one from Wanale.
Although cable cars are not meant for heavy cargo and also don’t carry multitudes, they can be very helpful in promoting tourism and where necessary emergency evacuations.
“They are used to carry light items,thus don’t expect to carry heavy items like posho,” said Benjamin Wawomola an expert in this type of cars.
According to the promoter of Green House Tourism Agency(GREHTA) Prof. Edward Mashate, between 400 and 800 million pounds will be needed to make this a reality and intends to put up a modern Airport in the heart of Mbale City but with the help of government of Uganda and the local governments in the region.
Professor Mashate while briefing stake holders at the Mbale City Hall, said the work had stalled for a while due to various reasons but he is now ready to put the theory into practice.
The stakeholders included promoters of GREHTA and selected technical staff from local governments.
Among other participants in the Thursday meeting, were Church leaders,Academicians, Opinion leaders and Inzu Yamasaba officials.
The Bugisu cultural leader Umuguuga III elect Jude Mudoma promised to mobilise the Bamasaba from both Kenya and Uganda to support this noble cause.
Senior presidential advisor on Bugisu affairs mr. Benard Mujasi equally welcomed the initiative and said he would persuade government to fully support this move.
Bishops Wabulakha and Gimadu said the church would be requested to support this noble cause.
The Green House Tourism Agency besides putting up cable cars and a modern Airport terminal second to Entebbe airport, has in plan other projects like providing free seedlings to the community ,and employing locals among others.
Since for the program to succeed, the role of government will be key, it was agreed that the elders from Masabaland seek audience with president Yoweri Museveni.
The meeting proposed that the delegation to the president be led by the Bugisu Cultural leader and Mr Mujasi
Among those tentatively expected to be part of the profile team are chairmen LC 5 from Bugisu sub region,all members of parliament from the sub region, academia and other selected leaders.
Mashate is hopeful that with funds expected to be galvanized from both the donor community and Ugandan government his dream will turn into reality.
Professor Mashate is a Ugandan author based in the UK. He used to work in the tourism sector before he departed the country.
Brief notes about Cable Cars:
This is a transport system that allows one to travel up and down a mountain, in which cabins are suspended on a continuous moving cable driven by a motor at one end of the route.
Cable Cars have no engine or motor on the cars themselves. The power source is centralized in the cable car barn and powerhouse.
In Africa, this system is mostly used South Africa. It is one of Cape Town’s most popular tourist attractions with approximately one million people a year using the Cableway. In January 2019, the Cableway welcomed its 28 millionth visitor.