Launching the ‘Map of Fort Portal’s Historical Building and Sites – A Journey through Fort Portal’s History’
On the 30th of June 2020, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) and other stakeholder including representative from Government, Tooro Kingdom, media, owners and managers of historical buildings, among others launch the ‘Map of Fort Portal’s Historical Building and Sites – A Journey through Fort Portal’s History’. This high-quality map has been produced to make such national treasures more visible and valued, for their conservation for future generations and to help tourists and members of the public understand and appreciate the history surrounding them. Containing photos of notable historical sites, interesting facts, and a clear annotated street plan, the map also include a detailed overview of the town and its history.
With support from Irish Aid, CCFU documented historical buildings and sites in Fort Portal as a first step in the organisation’s intervention to work with stakeholders in the city to preserve and promote the city’s built heritage in light of modernisation.
With the pronouncement of Fort Portal as a Tourism City and with existence of this map, it is envisaged that the tourism experience for local and international tourists in these locations, will be enhanced by easy access to information on the history and culture associated with these national treasures.”
In his remarks, His Worship Rev. Kintu Willy Muhanga, the Lord Mayor of Fort Portal emphasises that ‘Akagambo komukuru mukaro’, in Rutooro, literally meaning Old is Gold! He urges the people of Fort Portal, the Tourism City is to keep and protect the old structures in town for income, future references – working as a tool to explain our background, our history and the Tooro culture.
The map is jointly launched by Prof. Edward Rugumayo, Hon. Sylvia Rwabwogo, the Kabarole Woman Member of Parliament (MP), Hon Alex Ruhunda, the Fort Portal MP and the Deputy Resident District Commissioner.
“We hope this map and the continued existence of our historical buildings and sites, will trigger public interest in preserving and promoting them as important aspects of the history, identity and heritage of Fort Portal” – Emily Drani, Executive Director, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda
The 4th target of Sustainable Development Goal 11 calls for the strengthening of efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. This reflects the global realisation that many urban cities are fast expanding and stand the risk of losing their historical and cultural identity, if heritage infrastructure and associated cultural values are not preserved and promoted.
Uganda, which is a country gifted with diverse cultural, natural and built heritage, is no exception. The consequences of urbanisation, rapid population growth and the pressing drive for modernity have created a constant demand for new higher-density development, often on plots which are already occupied by historical buildings and sites. Many valuable built and natural heritage sites have been already lost forever. The risk of losing further this heritage is real, and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
We call upon policy makers both at national level and local level to take the necessary action to establish legal instruments to identify, list, protect and promote historical properties in Fort Portal and to serve as examples of preservation champions to other cities. We are all responsible for preserving and promoting our heritage, we therefore encourage all Ugandans to play their part: use the map to visit a site and advocate for the preservation of historical buildings and sites in Fort Portal!
About the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU)
The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda is a local NGO that promotes the recognition of Culture as vital for human development. Since 2006, the Foundation has implemented programmes that seek to highlight the value of culture and appreciation as a key vehicle in achieving creative development.
In 2018, CCFU published an illustrated publication entitled ‘Beyond the Reeds and Bricks: Historical Sites and Buildings in Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe’ This book and maps which contain annotated photographs of over 60 important historical sites and buildings found in Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe. This is also complimented by a mobile phone app – ‘Uganda’s Built Heritage’ to allow users to discover and understand the heritage around them. This effort has resulted into increased appreciation by the general public on built heritage promotion and legal mechanisms to preserve historical buildings and sites. For example, in Kampala, working with the technical arm of the Kampala City Council Authority, an ordinance on this subject has been presented to the City Council and is under review.
For more information and copies of the map, please contact the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda or go to: https://crossculturalfoundation.or.ug/historical-sites-more-resources/ or call Tel +256 (0) 393 294 675 / 0774 248 849