Government to Transform Tororo Rock to a Tourist Site

The Ministry of Tourism has revealed its plans to transform Tororo Rock in Tororo district as a national cultural heritage site in Uganda.

This was revealed during the World Wildlife Day under the theme Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation, which was commemorated in Tororo District on Friday March 3, 2023 at the King George memorial stadium.

Tororo Rock is a rock formation located in the town of Tororo in the Eastern Region of Uganda. The rock lies about 5 kilometres southeast of Tororo Town centre and rises to about 1,800 meters above sea level. It is the third of its kind in Africa with other two in South Africa and Nigeria.

According to Hon. Tom Butime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the declaration and gazetting of the rock will help preserve and protect it from encroachers.

 “For the Tororo Rock. I would say that under the national museums and monuments, we could declare the rock as a national heritage cultural site that will give it protection and, therefore, nobody would have an opportunity of tampering with it or giving away pieces of land on that rock and the adjacent area. I wanted to make that assurance that when we go back to Kampala, we will pursue the same,” Butime said.

The Minister was responding to the concerns of the leaders in Tororo region who were advocating for the transformation of Tororo Rock into a major tourism site.

The leaders had cited that this development help in protecting Tororo rock from further encroachment.

According to the Teso traditional leader Emorimor, Paul Sande, there is an increasing number of encroachers.

“It’s unfortunate that some people have gone to an extend of claiming ownership of some parts of the Tororo rock, something we have long known as a public land,” Emorimor said.

He added that if something is not done, the magnificent rock and the surrounding the environment will be no more in years to come.

Butime in his speech further emphasized the need to diversify tourism products and promised that the Ministry together with its agencies will work hand in hand to package and promote the distinctive Tororo Rock and other attractions in Tororo District.

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) chief Administrative Officer, Lilly Ajarova, revealed that Tororo Rock is a unique feature that deserved rebranding and the value its being offered is the diversity and variety of destination.

 The Ministry also recognized individuals and institutions that have been contributing towards conservation, research, conflict resolution and wildlife conservation reporting, among others.

Some of the award winners included; Dr Priscilla Nyadoi who won the wildlife protection award, Dr Caroline Asiimwe, a veterinarian and Conservationist who has hugely engaged in human and wildlife conflict resolutions, Prof Laura McCarthy who won the Wildlife Research Award and Shaban Ssenyange who bagged the wildlife conservation media award, among others.

Other award winners were primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions that participated in the wildlife quiz, poetry and drama competitions. These include Mbale SS who won the quiz, Tororo Girls School who won in drama, St Peter’s College Tororo, Nkumba University who came 3rd in the tertiary competition, Makerere University who won 2nd place and the Uganda Wildlife Research Training Institute who emerged overall winners.

The celebration was graced by officials and staff from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Wildlife Education Conservation Center, local government leadership in Tororo, schools and tertiary institutions of learning among others.

As part of the activities leading up to the World Wildlife Day Celebrations, the Ministry of Tourism with the district and local leadership, had also launched the Tororo Rock conservation Hike whose inaugural was conducted on Thursday March 2, 20233.

The hike is set to be an annual event aimed at creating awareness on the significance of the rock as a tourism and heritage site and engaging the local communities.

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