Bujagali Falls (also spelled Budhagali) was a waterfall near Jinja in Uganda where the Nile River comes out of Lake Victoria, sometimes considered the source of the Nile. Starting November 2011, the falls were submerged by the new Bujagali Dam.
An acute electricity crisis impacted the livelihoods of millions of Ugandans and threatened the country’s development. Hospitals, schools, businesses, and residences suffered daily power shortages, which have stunted Uganda’s economic growth by an estimated one percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The Bujagali project is a 200MW hydropower facility on the Victoria Nile in Uganda that will help address the country’s energy crisis. The project supports Uganda’s broader development strategy, which focuses in large part on improving the investment climate to promote growth and reduce poverty.
Others say the costly dam’s power will not meet the needs of the vast majority of the country’s population, will drown a sacred waterfall, and could do further harm to Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake. Approximately 6,800 people will be directly affected by the creation of the dam.
The Bujagali doctor
The falls are said by local residents to be the site of a spirit, called the "Spirit of Bujabald," who protects the community by performing rituals at the falls. The spirit is embodied in a man, Jaja Bujabald, who lives next to the falls; he is the thirty-ninth person to be the spirit.
The 95-year-old man worked as a doctor preferably using local plants and herbs. Lots of people report to have seen him walking over the water. Indeed he seemed to be able to pass the falls where others didn't dare to go.
His prophecy is that many people will have to die and others will fall mad if nature is destroyed and the dam will be built.
- Linaweaver, Stephen (1999). Falling for AES's plan? Uganda debates damming the Nile. Multinational Monitor 20(6).
- Eastern Uganda Grapples with Power Plant Project
- World Bank Group and Bujagali
- Internationals Rivers' Informative page on Bujugali
- The story of the Bujagali Hydropower Project
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