POTENTIALS IN THE DISTRICT
Mineral Resources in the District:
There are a number of mineral resources in Kasese district; these include: Copper in Kilembe mines – which is being revived by government, Cobalt in Kasese with the KCCL company, Cement at Hima – where a second line has been constructed, Lime (Muhokya), Salt (Katwe Kabatooro) etc. These can further be explored to benefit the people of Kasese and the world at large.
Tourism is a significant economic activity within the District given its natural resource endowment including mountains and national parks. It has given employment to a number of people who act as tourist guides as well as working in hotels like Mweya Safari Lodge, Margherita Hotel etc. Tourism plays a big role in national development and in this regard, UWA has been contributing to the District development in form of revenue sharing (20%) arrangement that covers primary school block construction, health units and community halls in various areas of the District. National Parks in Kasese District include: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rwenzori National Park, and Kibale National Park. Wildlife sanctuaries include: Katwe, Kasenyi, Hamukungu while bird’s sanctuaries are located on the Kazinga Channels with over 6,000 species.
From the available data, there has been tremendous increase in total number of tourists visiting various wildlife conservation centres in Kasese District from 9,238 (2000) to 47,085 (2005). This implies that there is also increased revenue collected from these tourists. This is a positive move given the revenue sharing arrangement that has contributed a lot to education and health sectors to the community in the District.
There are many rivers in Kasese that flow from mountain Rwenzori. These have two major potentials; source of electricity production and water for irrigation.
Power / Electricity Potential in the rural communities
There is great potential of developing electricity (power) in the district. So far; four dams are in the district and another has been developed by Tronder Power in Bugoye Sub County. The Nyamwamba Small Hydro Power Project under South Asia Management –California is developing another dam in Kilembe Sub County which is estimated to generate bwtween 14 – 15 Megawatts. Our development partner BTC under Kasese District Poverty Reduction Programme has also embarked on the programme of rural electrification. This will further enhance the rural electrification programme of government.
Water for Irrigation
Already there is a major irrigation at Mubuku. However, there are a number of potential rivers and areas that have been surveyed and they have the potential for irrigation. Our development Partner BTC under KDPRP is exploring the expansion of Muhokya Small Irrigation Scheme.
Bordering with the DRC
Though bordering with DRC could also be a threat; it is also a potential to enhance the development of Kasese. The DRC is a large country; such that the Eastern part of DRC is nearer to the costal sea in Kenya than it is with its coastal border in Kinshasa. This gives the border at Bwera an opportunity to develop and enhance trade.
Strategies to Exploit the Potentials
- The district under the Public Private Partnership strategy is going to organise interventions of strengthening the private sector so that they can have the capacity to explore the mineral potential and enhance entrepreneurial development.
- The District has produced a District Tourism Development Plan that will further enhance exploring the Tourism potentials in the District. This was developed with the help of the Ministry of Tourism. In the first year of this DDP, the district plans to have an exchange visit / study tour to Tanzania (Serengeti National Park) to learn from their tourism good practices.
- The district is going to partner with the private sector (Kilembe Investments Limited) to explore the development of electricity by taking power to the rural communities.
- About the border with DRC; the district will put mechanisms to create peace and stability on the border.
- Impact entrepreneurship skills to its citizens (through the PPP), so that they can engage in border trade professionally and also develop storage system and big warehouses.
- The human resource in Kasese in this case the business community will be organised in business associations like the Uganda Chamber of Commerce and the Private sector.
- The Kasese District Development Path Initiative (KDDPI) has been developed to suite the circumstances of Kasese; to guide its development following the local Economic Model (LED) model. Alongside; we have developed contributory programmes like the PPP and the REP to enable the KDDPI operate.
- Government is also planning to upgrade the airstrip to an international airport; which would link Kasese to the rest of the world directly.
Localisation of the MDGs
This is considered a grand opportunity that is going to help us exploit a number of our resources in the sense that we are we orienting our efforts towards achieving the MDG targets. A Kasese district specific report has been written and it has enlightened our understanding on development. We are now looking at planning in an integrated and holist approach.