East Africa: Sudhir Refutes Degrading Lake Victoria As He Speaks Out On Multi-Billion Convention Centre Progress

The chairman of Ruparelia Group, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has dismissed as ‘false’, allegations that the group is refilling Lake Victoria with soil.

On Monday, a video clip of trucks carrying soil around Munyonyo Speke Resort gardens, adjacent to the shores of Lake Victoria made rounds on social media.

Some commentators had suggested that the trucks were dumping soil into the lake, to make way for Munyonyo expansion works, something they said contravened the environmental laws.

However, addressing the media on Tuesday, Sudhir clarified that they are not refilling the lake with soil but rather securing their own land affected by the historic unprecedented rise in Lake Victoria levels in 2021 and 2022.

“We have not degraded Lake Victoria. It is completely false, misguided rumours and information,” Sudhir told journalists.

“Being adjacent to Lake Victoria is one of the unique attractions of this facility. It is an asset that we guard jealously,” he said, 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,”

Sudhir noted that last year’s flooding, has necessitated them to raise the grounds adjacent to the lake and secure them against any possibility of flooding, as the hotel prepares to host the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) and G-77 Conferences next year.

“We all know how high Lake Victoria flows. Now, the last thing we want to see is when there’s a function and the heads of states are going on the shores, you find muddy water..” Sudhir explained.

Sudhir went on to say that all this has been done in liaison and in compliance with all the relevant environmental and regulatory authorities and laws.

Earlier on, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) released a statement confirming it had cleared Ruparelia to raise the grounds, to avoid flooding of the gardens ahead of next year’s conferences.

“The approval given required management to replant grass that was removed from the same area. However, NEMA will follow up to ensure compliance with approval particularly maintenance of L. Victoria integrity.” NEMA stated.

On progress of state-of-the-art Speke Resort Convention Centre

Sudhir, also conducted a media tour of a 4400-seater Speke Resort Convention Centre project which he said will be completed in time for the 19th summit of the NAM Conference slated for January 2024.