Friday, November 16, 2012
KABAKA'S LAKE - A BUGANDA WONDER WHICH IS A MULTI MILLION SITE WITHIN KAMPALA
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND - The lake is located in Uganda’s capital Kampala, a few kilometers from the city center, it was established by King Mwanga II (1884-1888). To date it is one of the only two excavated lakes in East Africa and one of the biggest of this kind in Africa. It occupies 2km 2 and is about 200 feet deep on average. King Mwanga had a liking for swimming and fishing. Whenever he desired to engage in these water sports, he would be carried 11km from his Mengo Palace to his lakeside palace in Munyonyo. One day an idea occurred to him in 1887 during his return from Munyonyo; if a lake were to be constructed; it would bring his water sport home and serve as an escape waterway in the event of armed conflict with the British (which was eminent) and other territorial enemies from Mengo to Munyonyo. In spite of the low technological advance at the time, construction of the lake began using rudimentary equipment like hoes and bare hands. From chiefs to his subjects, no one was exempt from this intensive labour which always started from 3:00am till 4:00pm each day and was to last 11 months. Many lives were lost due to fatigue, hunger, accidents and diseases. However, the work was abruptly brought to an unplanned end by a rebellion of Christian converts in1888. By then the lake had reached Najjanankumbi, 2Km from Mengo, the basin then contracted and the current lake has maintained more or less the same state since 1888 The lake is home to hundreds of water rare animals and plants. Without many visible tributaries, the lake maintains an almost equal volume of water throughout the year. This is the background of this high value resource urgently threatened to extinction by encroachers, who out of ignorance and greed are conducting illicit activities in the lakes vicinity which are greatly compromising its ecological, social and diverse cultural history. Below are photo impressions of Kabaka's Lake (Kabaka is the Luganda word for Buganda King). From the 1st picture, one gets the experience of what the Lake looks like and may be, what developments are possible. It is important to note that driving around the lake is possible as a road goes round. Given the economic activities, the water is dirty, and this can be easily seen, this is due to the in-flow due to storm/rain water which drains into the lake, 2ndly, the washing of vehicles which gets all the dirt into the lake. One important feature of the lake is that its water drains out through a channel made of concrete. There is also an island with birds and its quite impressive and a potential tourist attraction. A few developments can boost the Lake. It is possible to have a Conference facility which floats on the lake. A modern hotel can be put up. For those who love music, it can be great having permanent seats around the lake while entertainers may be floating around. It is also possible to make a demonstration venture for Cage Fishing. Buganda Government could look around for a Joint venture arrangement as the site can really generate good money for the region and Uganda at large.