We are not degrading lake Victoria for construction of Speke Resort Convention Center – Sudhir Ruparelia 

Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia has taken journalists to the construction site of the one-of-a-kind 4400-seater Speke Resort Convention Centre to prove that his copmany is not degrading Africa ‘s largest fresh water lake Victoria

He also said that the multi-billion facility is on schedule and will be completed in time for the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement to be held in January 2024 in Kampala, Uganda.

Dr sudhir Ruparelia together with the  media  conducted an on-the-spot media tour of the construction  grounds and provided  proof that it is not degrading and or refilling the lake, but instead securing its own land affected by the historic unprecedented rise in Lake Victoria levels in 2021 and 2022.

The Ruparelia Group entered into a joint venture with the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) to construct the state-of-the-art convention centre to not only host the NAM Summit but also boost the country’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) potential and competitiveness. 

UDC is the investing arm of the government of Uganda whose mission is to establish and or invest in sustainable development projects in areas strategic to Uganda’s social and economic transformation and prosperity. 

“Ruparelia Group, through our two subsidiaries, Speke Hotels and Meera Investments, is sparing no effort to ensure that we deliver this key strategic national facility on time,” he stated.

In addition to the 4400-seater  auditorium, the convention centre will also have a multipurpose hall, 12 high-end conference/breakaway meeting rooms and a floating restaurant that can host more than 900 guests, with an extraordinary view of Africa’s largest freshwater Lake Victoria.   

The Speke Resort Convention Centre is being developed on a 105-acre luxury resort complex that already has two luxury lake-side resorts⏤ Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, also owned by the Group. The three iconic properties combined, bring to Uganda’s hospitality sector about 40 indoor meeting and banqueting facilities of various sizes, with a capacity to host 19,000 people! This is in addition to several other outdoor venues.  Away from meeting venues, the complex boasts 476 accommodation rooms, including 54 presidential suites and 3 ballrooms.  

As part of the larger preparations, the entire facility is also undergoing some indoor and outdoor refurbishments and upgrades. While on the tour, the Group also took media and stakeholders on an on-the-spot fact-finding tour of the entire facility to clarify some online allegations that the Group is refilling Lake Victoria as part of the construction.

“Being adjacent to Lake Victoria is one of the unique attractions of this facility. It is an asset that we guard jealously,” Dr. Sudhir told the media, adding: “Ahead of the August-December rainy season, we are only upgrading and securing (against flooding) of our grounds that were affected by the May 2022 unprecedented rise in Lake Victoria levels.”  

It should be remembered that a year of extraordinarily heavy rains, that started in April 2019 pushed the lake’s water level up to 13.4 metres (44 feet) by May 2022, breaking the previous 1964 record, according to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission.

Even though the lake water levels later receded, Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) in May 2023  warned of abnormal rains. Indeed in the same month, there was significant flooding in the Lake Victoria basin, marked but the washing away of the River Katonga bridge on the Kampala-Masaka Road.

“All these occurrences, necessitated us to raise the grounds adjacent to the lake and secure them against any possibility of flooding. This has however been done in liaison and in compliance with all the relevant environmental and municipal regulatory authorities and laws,” said Dr. Ruparelia.  


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