By Basighalha Zalimon (Goodluck)
Over 100 people from within Kasese district have participated in the 12- kilometer Mbunga- Bughalitsa Hiking Tour to celebrate the Babinga Culture and Tourism Day.
The tour exercise that was carried out on Sunday is aimed at promoting local tourism. It started at Kasusuthi trading centre via Mbunga Cultural site, Matsuku, Kamathalyo, Kathoma, Bikohwa, Rukoki waterfalls and finally Kameli tombs.
The Busongora South Member of Parliament, Gideon Thembo Mujungu, who was the Chief Guest at the function urged the entire citizens of Kasese district to embrace the tourism industry arguing that it was not only meant for the foreigners.
Mujungu also tipped the community on the need to preserve some natural resources, respect for culture and traditions of the people of the Rwenzori region in a bid to generate income.
Sarah Ithungu Masereka Baleke, who was the Chief Hiker and also a Community Tourism Promoter and Ambassador, advised the community of Mbunga- Bughalitsa to advocate for community tourism in order for every citizen to benefit from the industry.
She observed need for the residents to engage themselves in the best agricultural practices as well as establishing some small scale businesses as the only means to get what to showcase to the tourists as they bypass the different routes leading to the Rwenzori Mountains.
Earlier, a written report read to the Hikers by William Muhindo, the Director for Bughalitsa Community Tourism Association indicated that the Babinga -Bughalitsa clan partnered with Rwenzori Action for Tourism Services (RWATS) in order to communicate to the rest of the world the tourism potentials in the Rwenzori Mountains and the entire region.
Muhindo, however, said that though the association is registering success, it is still faced by a number of challenges including lack of trainings, enough capital, and marketing services, networking and poor roads among others.
He strongly called on the district leadership to make Kilembe –Mbunga – Bughalitsa- Kigoro road a tourism road since their Bughalitsa- Mbunga campsite is hosting tourists.
In his remarks, Zephania Bwambale Kameli, who organized the function, said they intended to motivate and mobilize the young people for a positive change through social tourism and raising awareness to conserve and protect the environment and the cultural heritage.
Kameli revealed that they were planning to construct a museum at the Babinga Cultural Heritage Site, and a campsite in Kisondo.