speaker flags off twegaite source of nile run 230716.The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, flagged off the first Twegaite Source of the Nile Run on Saturday, 23rd July 2016 in high spirits. Jubilant Basoga, who had eagerly waited for the event, turned up in large numbers. The run started at 7am with the with 5km, 10km and 21km races, aimed at promoting domestic tourism in the Busoga region and specifically in Jinja, the biggest town in the region.
Rt. Hon. Rebbeca Kadaga thanked everybody who participated in the Run and commended all those who had trekked the journey by road and air to take part in the event. She further thanked the Uganda Tourism Board for bringing animals to the event and therefore, giving an opportunity the children in Jinja who had never seen live animals.
“Each of us has a personal responsibility to promote our country,” Kadaga said. “As you have clearly noticed, Busoga and the eastern region has a lot to offer to the rest of the country. I am grateful to all Ugandans who have participated in this Run,” Kadaga said.
She informed the residents that Twegaite International in partnership with Uganda Tourism Board are going to start up a Zoo in Busoga so that people do not have to travel all the way to Entebbe to see wild life.
“I thank Twegaite International for remembering and honouring their country and their tribe; for they could have chosen to live comfortably in Europe. They have instead decided to return home and do such a thing,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker also acknowledged the poor state of roads in Jinja town and promised to task government to repair all roads in the different municipalities throughout the nation.
“I thought the loan we passed in Parliament was meant to construct roads in all municipalities but I have been informed that the funds released were intended for construction of 10km only,” she said.
Hon. Moses Balyeku (NRM, Jinja West) thanked the Speaker for supporting the Busoga region and for tackling issues that affect them both in Uganda and abroad. He however, asked the Speaker to back him up in Parliament when he begins to task the government to construct better roads in Jinja and the greater Busoga region.
“Madam Speaker, I saw you jog today on our roads and I know they haven’t done justice to your shoes. Please support me to see infrastructural development in our municipalities,” Balyeku said.
He concluded by applauding Twegaite International for its efforts to change Busoga’s health sector.
The Chair of Twegaite International, Dr Fred Bateganya, said the Twegaite Run is geared towards creating cancer awareness in Busoga, and also to promote Busoga as a tourist destination.
“Twegaite has been supporting the Jinja Cancer Ward for the past three years. Through this support, the ward has been renovated and equipped with new beds and linen, among other things,” Dr Bateganya said.
He explained that this year’s proceeds will specifically be channeled to the acquisition of a van for the hospital to facilitate easy transport for the staff.
This is the first time the Run was done on the shores of the world’s longest river, the River Nile.
Twegaite International is a not-profit corporation based in the USA, which brings together children and friends of Busoga, both in the diaspora and in Uganda.
The Expo which will be held annually, is also intended to give opportunity to the residents of Jinja and beyond to enjoy Uganda’s wildlife animal potential from Entebbe Zoo, and this will promote tourism by driving traffic to Jinja from other parts of country and beyond.
Officials from the Uganda Tourism Board reported that Travel and Tourism had attracted a capital investment of about Ush1.8bn in 2015. The Tourism regulator said this is expected to increase by 7.6% in 2016 and by the same figure per annum over the next 10 years.
The event featured a series of post-race entertainment and a dinner for the participants. There was live entertainment, an animal exhibition by Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), children’s activities, and a Jinja reunion party at the Sailing club.