When you hear the name Kirinya, and going by the Luganda translation, you would probably think that it is a place that is under developed, full of crime and that the people in the community are probably not doing well. It is not until you set foot in this place that you notice development in Kirinya.
Kirinya is set in a gently sloping area overlooking Kireka, with a thick green vegetation cover of a wetland with a few scattered trees, occupying and demarcating Kirinya from Kireka.
Kirinya is located in Kira town council in Wakiso District with its most outstanding feature being Mandela National Stadium, commonly referred to as Namboole, a few metress off Jinja Road.
Kirinya as, I get to find out from a motorcyclist who refuses to identify himself, is divided into five major zones: Kirinya Kito, Kirinya Namataba, Kirinya Mubbombe, Kirinya Bukasa and Kirinya Kavule.
Although many residents are not sure how Kirinya got its name, they are able to tell how the different parts got their names. Kirinya Kavule for instance got its name from a huge mvule tree that had grown right at the centre of what is now Kirinya trading centre.
But because of the developments in the area, the tree had to be cut down to pave way for construction of modern facilities like a double storied building housing Kirinya Shopping Centre Supermarket.
In the morning hours, from 7am to around 10am, when everyone is going to town for work, the transport fares by taxi from Kirinya to Kampala city is Shs1,500 but can sometimes go up to Shs2,000, depending on the number of passengers. This is because, as I found out from Geoffrey Mpata, a businessman, sometimes the number of people can be more than the number of taxis taking people to town. Then in the evening hours when people are returning to their homes, Shs2,000 is enough from Kampala town to Kirinya.
Kirinya has quite a number of schools, worship centres and health centres.
Most of the schools – from kindergarten to secondary – like Kirinya Church of Uganda Secondary School are church-founded and therefore have a Christian attachment to them. Other schools include Mandela College School that got its name from neighbouring Mandela National Stadium, Fountain Nursery and Primary School, and Green Valley Junior School and Day care Centre.
Dove Light Church that is a few metres away from Kirinya Church of Uganda Secondary School is one of the worship places in Kirinya.
Jennifer Nabirye, a nurse at Dida Medical Centre says sometimes patient admittance at this health unit depends on the season. “We admit a bigger number of patients of approximately five to 10 people per day in the wet season because it is the season when people often suffer from illnesses like malaria, fever and flu,” she says. Another notable medical centre in Kirinya is Doctor’s Medical and Surgical Clinic offering services like maternity services.
A police officer at Kirinya Police Post, who preferred anonymity, says the people in the community take charge of their safety under the Community Policing Programme by the police.
“We carry out patrols both during day and night, criminal evaluation if someone has been arrested more than two times and also work together with local council leaders to maintain a crime free society,” explains the police officer.
“For the six years I have lived in Kirinya, I have not had any problems related to the place itself. It’s a good place with very few conflicts. No one seems to have time to pay attention to what a neighbour is up to and the transport cost is relatively low,” Mawazi Nabonho, are resident says.
A woman whose main source of livelihood is selling charcoal and running a food stall also says she has not had any problems staying in Kirinya. “All I mind about is waking up and running my business. Nothing attracted me to settle in this place but I found it comfortable and decided to stay,” she says.