Nearly completed dam on White Nile casts a long shadow
Only time will tell what will happen families pushed off their land in Uganda
A competitor takes part in the Nile River Festival 2018 on the Nile Special wave in Uganda. A new dam will flood the wave by the end of the year. Photograph: Dan Griffin
Bujagali Falls, Uganda: a group of whitewater rafters on an inflatable boat going down the rapids. Photograph: Getty Images
Nile Special is unlike any other wave in the world. It forms on a rapid on the upper section of the Nile river in Uganda where the water is warm and the flows consistent. It can be surfed year-round. It is big, fast, safe and accessible.
For nearly two decades it has drawn the world’s best kayakers to this rural corner of Africa. More than that, it has been the training ground for a succession of top Ugandan kayakers who would otherwise live hand-to-mouth as subsistence farmers. And in a few months’ time, it will no longer exist.