Uganda’s cabinet has decided to reject the project at its meeting said State Minister for tourism Godfrey Kiwanda.
The falls lend their name to a 3,900-square-km national park, one of Uganda’s biggest, where visitors can view lions, hippos, elephants, buffalos and giraffes.
“Cabinet rejected the idea entirely. Cabinet is of the view that Murchison Falls is one of the country’s great wonders,” he told Reuters.
In June, Bonang had applied for a permit for a feasibility study to develop a 360 megawatt power plant on the falls, according to a notice issued by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).
Private tourism operators and nature enthusiasts immediately mounted opposition to the project saying the falls were one of the country’s most prized geographical features and a lucrative tourism site.
“When we considered what we make out of the falls in terms of tourism earnings it was very clearit’smorevaluable keeping it (Murchison Falls) as a tourism site,” Kiwanda said.
ERA, he said, had been directed not to allow the feasibility study to proceed.
Located on the River Nile between the Ugandan lakes Kyoga and Albert, Murchison Falls lies about 280 km northwest of the capital Kampala.
President Yoweri Museveni’s government in recent years has been eagerly wooing foreign private power developers, especially in the renewable energy sector, to invest in the country and help boost its generation capacity.
Founded in 2014 by South African entrepreneur, Ernest Moloi, Bonang specialises in renewable energy projects in Africa.