Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The King of Tooro Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru IV has closed a three-day launch of a “Ekyooto ha Mpango” with a call on his subjects especially the youth to embrace and value Tooro culture.
The King disclosed that the Ekyooto (fireplace) concept for the kingdom has been redesigned and widened to include learning and skilling opportunities.
This the King said, has been done especially to cater for the youth who have been hit hard by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the state of joblessness.
Sports activities, which are good for the body and many other tourism promotions, and culture conservation activities have also been incorporated within the Ekyooto concept.
He explained that in the ancient days while around Ekyooto, children were natured, inspired, guided and young girls and boys were groomed to become responsible citizens in future hence the need to promote culture.
He further stated that “Ekyooto” was a place where parents told their children about grandparents, past leaders, and the good practices as well as Biblical stories for better upbringing.
It was from this background that the king challenged his subjects against letting the Tooro culture die out in pursuit of modernity.
Tom Butiime the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and antiquities said that the “Ekyooto festival” is designed to showcase the best of the region and empower the community to tap into the power of the tourist movement in the Tooro kingdom.
Minister Butiime stated that the challenge of reigniting tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic requires proactive actions and policies that capitalize on the natural endowment of the Tooro region and Uganda at large.
The minister also maintained that the sector of Tourism had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which came with travel restrictions causing the country great loss in regard to revenue collection.
He disclosed that in his ministry together with the United Nations Development Program, several interventions have been designed to boost tourism in Tooro region that hosts the tourism city and “Ekyooto” festival is one of the recovery plans.
Elsie Attafuah the UNDP Resident Representative said that culture and tourism are powerful global economic engines that employ thousands of people thereby fostering sustainable economic progress.
Richard Rusoke the bishop of the SDA church in Fort Portal who led the thanks giving ceremony at the Royal palace on Sunday said there is need for people of Tooro to preserve Nature, culture and as well as environment.
He said environmentalists world over are concerned by the changing weather patterns that have left lives and properties destroyed.
He wants the Ugandan government to start implementing the already existing laws that will deter the population from irresponsible littering of plastics and polythene bags, which he claims are key instrumental in environment destruction.
The launched “Ekyooto” Festival will henceforth be held two weeks before the coronation date in September of every year. The event will be characterized by touring Tooro region, music festivals, trade shows, football games among other activities.