Reconstruction of the Tombs of the Buganda Kings begins
The reconstruction of the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi in Uganda was launched today at a ceremony held on the World Heritage site, which was partially destroyed by fire in March 2010.The project , which is financed by Japan, is being implemented by the Ugandan Government and UNESCO.
The ceremony was attended by several government representatives including Uganda’s Permanent Secretary/ Minister for Tourism, Wild Life and Antiquities, Mugoya Patrick along with Katikkiro (Prime Minister) of the Government of Buganda Charles Mayiga, Ambassador of Japan to Uganda Junzo Fujita, and members of UNESCO technical advisory mission.
The Tombs of the Buganda Kings at Kasubi were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. After the partial destruction of the site by fire on 16 March 2010, the site was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The official ceremony to launch reconstruction work also provided an opportunity for a meeting of the technical advisory mission and other experts to review the master plan for the work, as well as disaster mitigation plans, research on practices and knowledge associated with traditional architecture, and capacity building.
The Kasubi site dates back to the 13th century and bears eloquent witness to the living cultural traditions of the Baganda. It houses the tombs of the four Kabakas (Kings) and is the most active religious site in the Kingdom, attracting some 30,000 visitors annually.
Built in the finest traditions of Ganda architecture and palace design, it reflects technical achievements developed over many centuries. The built and natural elements of the tombs are charged with historical, traditional, and spiritual values. Such architectural structures, and the traditional practices that are associated with the site, are one of the exceptional representations of the African culture that depict a continuity of a living tradition. The site's main significance lies in its intangible values of beliefs, spirituality, continuity and identity of the Baganda people. The site serves as an important historical and cultural symbol for Uganda and the East Africa region.