King Oyo wants rescue services for mountain climbers

King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru

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King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV made the remarks at his Tooro palace following his return from a 10-day royal expedition to Margherita, the highest point of the Rwenzori ranges

The Omukama of Tooro has asked the government to avail rescue and first aid services as a means of promoting mountain climbing in the Rwenzori Mountains.

King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV made the remarks at his Tooro palace following his return from a 10-day royal expedition to Margherita, the highest point of the Rwenzori ranges.

Margherita peak is situated at 5,109 meters on Mount Stanley.

“I realised that the Rwenzori Mountain National Park does not have a standby emergency medical team and considering the nature of the landscapes, I highly recommend that the government through the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities support and facilitate the training of selected mountain guides and rangers as paramedics to fill this gap,” he said this week.

King Oyo further urged Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to improve the tourism trails.

“Much as adventure tourism is associated with risk, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the climbers are secured with guardrails, ladders, and permanent ropes to make the experience more comfortable and safe for the climbers. It is, therefore, my prayer that the UWA takes immediate precautionary measures,” he said.

King Oyo led a team of hikers to the Rwenzori Mountains on July 25 to promote Uganda as a unique mountain tourism destination.

In his speech, the Minister of Tourism, Col Tom Butime, urged the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to promote adventure tourism in all parts of the country.

Col Butime also pledged to work with his ministry, UTB, and UWA to identify and develop new tourism products. “In addition to mountaineering and wildlife safaris, the adjacent Kasese Golf Course - the largest golf course in East Africa - should be developed to attract affluent travellers in the region,” he said.

Officials at UTB expressed their gratitude to the King of Tooro for undertaking the royal tour under the ‘Conserving Mountain Ecosystems’ campaign which highlights the beauty and splendour of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges as one of the remaining equatorial glaciers in the world.


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