MARACHA. The Alikua pyramid in Maracha district, the only visible surviving legacy of the nineteenth century Belgian occupation of the West Nile region has been renovated.
Nobody knows for what purpose the Belgians erected the pyramid but local elders say Alikua was the administrative headquarters of the region the Belgians called Mt Wati district in the defunct Lado state that was exploited as a private property of King Leopold II.
The builders fixed slabs into the sides that were cut open by suspected thieves hunting for imaginary treasures they though were enclosed by the Belgians in the pyramid. They also fenced off the area in order to secure it from future intrusion.
Ms Florence Ario, the female councilor representing Oluffe Sub County said the renovation was a spot on investment that would immensely generate revenue for the district through tourist attraction.
She said the facelift was financed by Mr James Acidri, the Maracha East Constituency Member of Parliament.
Without disclosing the cost of the renovation Mr Acidri said the project was needed to help the district to raise more money for local development.
“We have almost completed the project but what is left is painting the fence and the next stage will include cleaning, planting grass and demolition of structures around the pyramid,” he said.
A dilapidated Belgian cemetery near the pyramid will also be fenced and preserved and the road from Alikua to Olewa falls on Enyau River would be graveled as part of the tourism promotion project.
The MP said he plans to construct what he calls country gardens near Olewa at the Maracha-Terego boarder to accommodate tourists.
The improvement of the site is attracting the locals to flock at different intervals to the historic site to acknowledge the repair works so far done.
A 28-year-old woman from Olevu village who only identified herself as Mrs Lillian was jovial as she stared at the lone structure.
“I first saw this pyramid two years ago after my marriage. I think preserving this site will allow my children and grandchildren to remember the history of the place,” she said.
Mr Sila Ambo, 79, a resident of the neighbouring Worogbo village said the development is a big achievement for the people in the district.
Mr Ambo said the district leaders have been sleeping, but the revamp of Alikua pyramid should awaken them to identify more sites to develop in order to promote local tourism.
He described the pyramid as an important relic that can provide valuable clues of information on how European powers played the colonization game in the region during the period of scramble for Africa, an area of interest to students of history.
The Maracha district council has listed as key priorities the development of local tourist sites at Odromachaku massacre place, Ojugodri footmarks in Kimiru parish in Oluffe Sub County and the Miriaadoa falls in Kijomoro Sub County in the subsequent years.