L. Bunyonyi community, tourism stakeholders lose millions in cancelled bookings, business amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kabale – Communities and tourism stakeholders around Lake Bunyonyi have expressed concern of struggling to cope up following the outbreak of COVID-19 leading up to a lockdown to curb its spread.

Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa about half a kilometre deep, has 29 islands – one being the famous punishment island where girls who could get conceived before wedlock would be taken to die there.

Before the lockdown, the lake has been receiving both local and international tourists bringing in a lot of income to the hotel owners, locals that have been working as guides, porters to the tourists as well selling their commodities to the tourists like handicrafts and food.

Reagan Nowamani the Manager Entutsi resort on Lake Bunyonyi says that many tourists who had already made bookings have decided to cancel thus losing their business.

“This is the time when their business is at its peak with many visitors coming but the lockdown and ban on international flights have not seen this through.

Diaz Drakes, a tour guide, revealed that before the outbreak of the virus he had got several bookings and had already paid it to hotels as he is now struggling to get a refund to send it back to them.

David Mbabazi a boat operator at the lake as he has been transporting tourists who want to who has been as now he has no food to give to his family as he has been getting income.

A sight of Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale – South Western Uganda

As the vulnerable communities around Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district are coping with the COVID-19 Lockdown crisis an NGO Little Angel’s Project that supports vulnerable communities in the areas of Bufuka, Murandi, Kyabahinga, Kitooma and Buhumba villages before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Duncan Musinguzi, the executive director says that he decided to reach out to more families after realizing that most families in the area were finding it hard to fix a meal after realizing that most families since they have been unable to earn since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Musinguzi says that the communities around the lake are given posho,Bananas ,soap among other household requirements as well as protective wear.

Peace Atukunda one of the beneficiaries says that the project has been supportive and helping them to feed their children in addition to helping the children attend school.

Little Angels Project is located in Bufuka village around lake Bunyonyi and has for years been touching the needy and also trying to ensure that the children around the lake get access to quality education among other interventions.

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