16 March 2019

Uganda: Source of the Nile Bridge Goes Green Ahead of Irish Fête

The source of the Nile Bridge, which is a tourism and architectural icon in Uganda, was this past week illuminated green ahead of Ireland marking its national day.

This is part of Ireland's Global Greening initiative, an event that will see more than 300 famous landmarks across the world go green for March 17.

On March 12, the embassy of Ireland in Uganda, in partnership with Uganda Tourism Board and the Uganda National Roads Authority, illuminated the 525-metre cable-stayed bridge green.

"The bridge will be illuminated in green for the remainder of the week, until St Patrick's Day, Sunday March 17," an official said.

Global Greening is an initiative that begun 10 years ago by Tourism Ireland with the greening of famous landmarks around the world.

Distinctive aspect

This is the fifth year that Uganda has participated in Global Greening initiative, which in the past has seen the country's Equator Monument go green.

Other famous landmarks illuminated green on this day include the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Table Mountain of South Africa.

Ireland's embassy in Kampala says the Source of the Nile Bridge was chosen as a symbol of a bridge between peoples and nations of Ireland and Uganda.

The Nile itself is a major source of tourism, is important as a distinctive aspect of Uganda's geography and culture that Ireland is keen to highlight.

Officials say that the bridge going green is a boost to the tourism of both Uganda and Ireland as images of the activity are shared across the world.

"We are very excited to be partnering with UTB once again on the Global Greening and to have identified such an iconic landmark as the Source of the Nile Bridge. The bridge is a symbol of two nations and two peoples forging friendship.

"The River Nile is a great source of tourism for Uganda, and we are delighted to shine a green light on it," said William Carlos, Ireland's ambassador to Kampala.

The Nile, which is about 6,650km long is an international river whose drainage basin covers 11 countries namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the DR Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt; it starts from the Lake Victoria Basin and terminates in the Mediterranean Sea.

The river is a major tourist attraction, with a raft of activities including whitewater rafting and kayaking, sport fishing, bungee jumping, bird watching, as well as sightseeing of the architectural landmarks along its basin.

These activities earn billions of dollars annually for riparian economies.

But Uganda's Jinja town--80km east of the capital Kampala--is described by some as the genuine Source of the Nile.

It is at this the very point that the ashes of global iconic figure Mahatma Gandhi were sprinkled, to intellectually nourish future nations of the basin.

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