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Tuesday,November 24,2020 08:48 AM

Reaping from Siyisi'a showers

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th July 2006 03:00 AM

Sisiyi waterfalls in eastern Uganda is slowly becoming a tourist and holiday makers’ destination.

Sisiyi waterfalls in eastern Uganda is slowly becoming a tourist and holiday makers’ destination.

By Nathan Etengu
in Sironko

Sisiyi waterfalls in eastern Uganda is slowly becoming a tourist and holiday makers’ destination.

The falls on River Sisiyi are found in Sironko district. The river originates from the crater lake on the peak of Mt. Elgon and meanders underground at Bukibologoto village.

The roaring waters plunge 100meters deep into a gorge at the foot of Sisiyi cliff, emitting a steam-like spatter.
This scenery has been there untapped since time immemorial.

Located about 30kilometres from Mbale along the highway to Kapchorwa, Sisiyi Falls was a little known and little thought of site until about three years ago when members of the Presbyterian Church visited the area to plant a church.

Dr. Patrick Mutono and his wife Helen said that they were mesmerised by the beauty that the river and waterfall lent to the area.

Helen recalls how she fell several times as she struggled to walk through the sharp slippery rocks to get to the bottom of the waterfall.

“What we realised was that the beauty was little known to the outside world apart from the local community and the indigenous land owners used the surrounding areas to cultivate coffee, bananas and eucalyptus trees for firewood,” Mutono said.

Mutono said that he sought audience with the landowners, elders and local leaders who agreed to sell him the piece of land close to the waterfall.

He said that he bought some pieces of land close to the waterfall and started landscaping the area and planting flowers.

People who have visited the area after the landscaping and planting of flowers have left mesmerised.
The Mutonos have since constructed a cottage with four self-contained rooms. They have also constructed a kitchen, restaurant and bar for tourists and holiday makers.

Francis Masiga, a resident of Namanda village and member of the Presbyterian Church said he was one of the people who sold land to the Mutonos.

“We had difficulty in tilling the land because of its rocky and rugged nature,” Masiga said.

He, however, said that little did they (the residents) know that the same piece of land could be put to better use and would generate much more income than what they earned from the crops and plantation forest.

“The land is already creating jobs for our people and also providing markets for some of our crops. Visitors often buy some of the crops sold by the roadside,” Masiga said.

Mutono noted that while the bigger part of Mt. Elgon was found in Uganda, the development of the tourist industry had not been commensurate with the abundant natural resources.

The rivers that flow into Uganda include Suom, Kere, Sit, Ataari, Sipi, Sisiyi, Simu, Soloko, Nabuyonga, Namatala, Manafwa and Lwakhakha.

Dr. Mutono said that Sisiyi river could generate about ten megawatts of electricity. He said that the river could also be used to irrigate the lowland areas of Sironko, Kumi and parts of Kapchorwa to enhance both agricultural and livestock production for beef and dairy products.
The falls are an attraction during the holiday seasons. Tourists from Kampala and the Indian business community seek to have fun and relax at the foot of the waterfall.

Reaping from Siyisi'a showers

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