Gulu, Pakwach gear up for solar eclipse

Gulu Municipality and Pakwach town councils are gearing up for the hybrid solar eclipse on November 3. A number of hotel and tour operators said they were fully booked.

Dickens Kaboroga, a reservations manager with Gulu Tours said he has received several calls from both local and foreign tourists for accommodation. He said they will drive tourists to Pakwach town in Nebbi district in West Nile.

“After viewing the eclipse, we have tailor made packages for visits to Murchison Falls National park, situated only one hour away from Gulu,” he said early this week.

The road leading to Owiny Primary School in Pakwach which has been cited as a vantage location for viewing the eclipse at 4:15pm has already been graded.

Nebbi district information officer Godfrey Odia on Wednesday said they had received sh168m from the tourism ministry for refurbishing Owiny Primary School in Pakwach has been cited as a vantage location for viewing the eclipse which will take place 4:15pm.

He said some of the money would be used for opening up some roads to other tourist sites in the area and for sensitization of the public. He said they are also expecting sh77m for establishing a tourism information centre in Pakwach town and an eclipse monument at Owiny Primary School.

The LC3 chairman of Pakwach town council, Benson Okumu told New Vision on Wednesday that an exercise aimed at improving sanitation in the town council was ongoing.
He said most accommodation in Pakwach had been booked and some people would sleep in tents.

George Burton Oyik, who heads the physics department at St Joseph’s College Layibi in Gulu district said people in Gulu would be lucky to view the eclipse from the comfort of their homes.

Christine Adong who operates a restaurant at the Gulu Bus Park said November 3rd would offer her  an opportunity to make more sales since there will be an influx in the number of people coming to Gulu.

Gulu Resident District Commissioner James Kidega who chairs the district security committee last week summoned hotel owners, bars, and lodges and warned them that they must not compromise on security.

“Security is a collective responsibility, various stakeholders need to team up with security people, to ensure safety and avoid the circumstance that happened at Westgate Shopping mall in Nairobi,” he said last week.

Tourism minister Maria Mutagamba told the New Vision earlier that a total of the 30,000 foreign tourists, mostly scientists and academicians, who have expressed interest in viewing the eclipse from Uganda, at least 10,000 have confirmed.

Source The New Vision

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