Monday August 25 2014

Speaker wants airstrip to boost Jinja tourism


The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has asked the government to revamp air transport in Jinja Town to promote tourism and boost growth of the former industrial town. Jinja has an airstrip at Kimaka mainly used by the army.

While launching preparations for the November Africa Travel Association (ATA), an alliance established to promote travel, tourism and transport within Africa, Ms Kadaga said few international tourists visit the region despite the area being endowed with tourism sites like River Nile.

ATA and the government has organised a week-long tour of the country where 8,000 delegates from Africa and the US will be in the country from November 11-16.

The Kamuli Woman MP also said the airstrip will facilitate the town to gain its “rightful position” as it was during the colonial and post-colonial times.

“The East African airlines BC9 used to land here (Jinja) from Nairobi. This is not something new. I have talked about this, I have written letters and the one year I spent in aviation authority, I was creating an international airline in Jinja and they took me away,” Ms Kadaga said.

The government Media Centre spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, when contacted, said: “Although air transport is good to move tourists quickly, what we need is connectivity by road and Jinja is one-hour drive from Entebbe,” Mr Ofwono said.

Jinja was the industrial heart of the country between 1954 and the late 1970s supported by hydro electric generation at Nalubaale Power Station but the town has since slipped with majority of industries being established in Kampala.