Sunday April 13 2014

Entebbe: The arrival hub for Uganda’s guests

The runway and terminal at Entebbe

The runway and terminal at Entebbe International Airport. PHOTO BY Martin Ssebuyira 

By Martin Ssebuyira


The name Entebbe is derived from a few rocky seats where Mugula Bukulu Bwawadda, one of the Ganda chiefs of the 19th Century, used to hold court.
In 1893, Sir Gerald Portal founded Entebbe as a military post and principal port to Uganda.

It was made Uganda’s first capital city called Port Alice. In 1903, it was declared a township after the country’s capital was transferred to Kampala.

This was an elevation from the status of a “Town Collect” which extended as far as Mpigi and Kajjansi to the peninsula that extended from the International Airport in the southwest to Katabi Sub-county headquarters in the northeast. In the east, it extended from the lakeshore to Nakiwogo in the west.

The town Planning Scheme that was finalised in 1959 extended the boundaries of Entebbe Town Council from Katabi on Kampala Road to Entebbe Bay and from the airport to Kigungu. In 1975, the town council was elevated to a municipality.

Location and size
The municipality is located 37kms south of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. It is situated in Wakiso District bordering Lake Victoria to the south. It is located on the peninsular into Lake Victoria covering an area of approximately 56.2 Sq km of which 20 Sq Km is water.

It has a humid tropical climate with means monthly temperatures range between 250C and 270C. The lowest temperature ever recorded is 150C

Vast opportunities lie in the hospitality industry, water recreation, cage fish farming, craft industry for tourism, tour guiding and fast food facilities.

Main activities
Residents are engaged in a number of economic activities, which include: public service, trade, fishing, urban and peri-urban farming, aviation-related activities, hotels & restaurants as well as construction.

According to the 2002 population and housing census, the population stood at 55,086 people (51 per cent female and 49 per cent male) with a growth rate of 2.2 per cent.

The population of Entebbe now stands at 100,700 with 48.7 per cent being male and 51.3 per cent female.

The population, however, increases during day because many people who work in the town don’t live there. Division A had the largest proportion of the population, standing at 58.2 per cent (44,500 persons) while Division B accounted for 42 per cent (23,055 persons).
Central Ward has the largest proportion of the population standing at 38 per cent followed by Kiwafu with 34 per cent, Katabi at 20 per cent and the least being Kigungu ward with 8 per cent of the total population.

Administrative units
The municipality has a number of administrative units. There are two divisions; A & B and each has two wards and 24 sub-wards.

Entebbe has 66 primary schools, 15 of which are government-aided and 44 are private. It has three government-aided secondary schools and 11 private secondary schools. There are five institutions and two universities, Nkumba and Kisubi.

Entebbe is a well guarded town with all security organs operating in the area. It has a UPDF marine base, Special Forces Command headquarters, Air force base and head quarters and many other security agencies. It has two main police stations at the airport and in Entebbe Town.

The chairperson security committee in Entebbe, Ms Rose Nalongo Kirabira, says crime cases are going down from 2,014 cases recorded between 2012 to 2013 to 1,614 cases in 2013 to 2014. Toping crime is land grabbing that she says can receive about 20 cases per day.

Health services
Entebbe Municipality has a number of health facilities offering various medical services to residents and others. There is one general hospital and four health centres, all of which are owned by the government.

The municipality also has modern private health facilities that compete or out compete the general hospital such as Victoria Medical Centre, Emmanuel Medical Centre, International Medical Centre, St Louis Clinic, Khalif Medical Clinic, St Mary’s Medical Hospital and St Jude Laboratory.

Safe Water Coverage
Almost 93 per cent of the municipality receives safe water coverage. Most households have access to tap water in their homes and others normally buy water from the neighbourhood within a radius of 200 meters.
The municipality has two protected springs, one in Luyo East (Central ward) and the other in Kiwafu central (Kiwafu ward). There are no bore holes in the municipality.

Tourist attractions
Among the tourist attractions in the municipality are, the State House, International Airport, Uganda Wild Life Education Centre (UWEC) with a variety of animals, including lions, crocodiles, chimpanzees, monkeys, various snakes and several bird species.

Historical sites such as Entebbe “Za Mugula”, and the stunning sunset site at Nakiwogo landing site and Botanical Gardens with a variety of plant species from all over Uganda and Africa.

The council gazzetted leisure parks such as Kitooro, the impounded two wheeled gun got from the Germans during the second World War commonly referred to as Muzinga square, children’s park, Independence or freedom tree commonly reffered to as ”Muti gwe dembe” and Mayor’s Gardens.
Religious sites like the governor’s church called St Johns Church, brother Amans and Mapeera church where Catholicism started, tombs like European cemetery and Lunyo Palace. Other are gift and art & crafts shops, beaches, hotels, Sports facilities like the Entebbe Golf course, Kakeeka cricket grounds.

Swimming pools at major hotels and several playgrounds. Other attractions include the ancient well of Naggadya, Governor’s and Deputy Governor’s residence, Uganda’s first High Court were King Kabalega was tried, Uganda’s first legislative assembly, the National Archive, first civil servants and government hospital, governor’s pool table, Equator island where the Equator crosses Entebbe and Uganda’s first police station, Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria which is a sanctuary for chimpanzees, Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh-water lake in the world
The lake is a prime spot for leisure activities. Water sports available on the lake include; sport fishing, water rafting, canoeing, cruising and Sailing