By Benedict Okethwengu
Owiny Primary School in Panyango sub-county, Nebbi district is no longer living in the shadow of darkness.
Suddenly the place is full of cars and people holding all sorts of gadgets in preparation for the total eclipse of the sun this afternoon.
Local businessmen and companies have thronged the premises to hire space and erect tents and kiosks to sell their products.
“We have been overwhelmed by the turn-up of business people and companies coming to hire land to erect tents and kiosks to sell their products,” said Robert Pithua, the Panyango subcounty chief Pithua.
Located 10 km off the dusty Pakwach-Wadelai road, Owiny PS has been identified as the best place to spot the eclipse alongside other towns like Arua, Soroti, Gulu and Masindi.
Pithua asserts that many businessmen and companies dealing in processed foods and crafts are expecting a bumper harvest from thousands of visitors who will flock in to be part of the exciting astrological history.
Cissy Amony, a trader in Pakwach town council, who deals in crafts, says she has stocked enough products for guests.
Nebbi district information officer Godfrey Odia says access roads have been opened to many other tourist sites in the district to take advantage of the windfall. He adds that the district wants to use the solar eclipse to market many of its tourist’s sites.
An eclipse monument was due to be completed at the site by yesterday afternoon.
Nebbi district chairman Robert Okumu said the district expects to reap a colossal amount of money in tourism from and after the total eclipse, given that it is a rare occurrence world over.
Meanwhile, Nebbi District Police Commander Onesmus Mwesigwe has said security has been tightened and that not even mosquitoes will be given a chance to bite those who will turn up to be part of the historic occurrence.
He explained that different security organs in the country have been deployed to man security before, during and after the occurrence.
He said they are not taking the issue of the total eclipse lightly, noting that wrong elements could use such an occasion to achieve their motives, given the high number and the class of people who will throng the district to grace the occasion.
“The whole security in Uganda has been focusing on Nebbi in the last three months and I can confidently say that security organs are ready to deal with any threat,” he said.
Betty Adima the Nebbi district RDC said the district is fully prepared for the event and that President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be the chief viewer during the Total eclipse.