The area of Murchison Falls NP with the size of 3900 square km surrounded partly by three other nature reserves represents together a robust block of nature environment (approx. 5500 square km). For densely populated Uganda, this area is especially unique. The amazing landscape occupied by the abundant fauna, including the elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, leopards, Uganda kobs, Jacson Hartebest, buffaloes and many other animals could soon be a history.
France’s TOTAL, UK-based Tullow Oil and Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation prepare to drill hundreds of oil wells with the intension to extract hundreds of thousands of barrels per day. They would also build a refinery, an industrial zone and a 1,445-kilometer pipeline to the harbour of Tanga in Tanzania. In current time (2021), we noticed that China Communications Construction Company (one of the biggest construction companies in the world) is building a huge new asphalt road and a new bridge over Victoria Nile that would replace a dirty road through Murchison Falls National Park used mainly by safari tourists. The widening and paving are dedicated for heavy vehicles to serve the mining industry. This is very disappointing for the future of this area.
The study dedicated to the environment impact assessment had little tragicomical recommendations such as building the drill rigs more than 2 km from each other for lower impact to giraffes and other fauna, etc.The coexistence of the national park and the mining of mineral resources is generally in contradiction. To find the balance between both purposes is, in reality, very challenging.
The start of drilling of oil managed by Chinese, UK and French companies is maybe the “special” contribution to the implementation of measures to reduce the global climate change discussed in Glasgow now (we try to be a little humour to reflect this very sad story). Rather, it is possible to describe like a brutal business project of huge companies from developed countries connected maybe to shadows of corruption.
We visited this famous national park in August 2021. We still saw a breathtaking landscape. Nonetheless, in a very short time, the experience of the visitors may be different. Would this become a reality?
Rare Rotchilds Giraffe near to the new constructed highway in the heart of NP Murchison Falls