Special Reports

Ibanda: The home of mixed farming

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Ibanda Hill from where the district derives its name. Photo by Colleb Mugume 

By ELLY KARENZI & COLLEB MUGUME

Posted  Monday, February 3   2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Ibanda. The district was named Ibanda after its biggest hill. During the colonial times it was called Mitooma. Ibanda District was curved out of greater Mbarara in 2005. It borders Kiruhura to the East, Kamwenge to the North, Buhweju to the West and Mbarara to the South. It comprises of Nyabuhikye, Rukiri, Kicuzi, Bisheeshe, Kijongo, Kashangura, Nsasi, Kikyekye and Keihangaara sub-counties. It consists of four town councils of; Ibanda, Ishongorero, Rushango and Igorora. Most of the people are engaged in crop farming.

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Ibanda District is a land of coffee, bananas, mangoes, passion fruits, pineapples, jack fruits and water melons. The district has extensive ridges and hills which form the important water sheds for the area and beyond.
The hills and ridges form the upper catchments of the water streams like Mukazanyara, Kamukuri, Kyereeta and Ryengoma from where residents tap gravity water. Ibanda has a very cool climate. British Colonial Administrators had established a liaison office for administration of the western region.
Ibanda became famous after the death of Galt, a young colonial administrator.

Galt was speared to death in 1905 in Ibanda town by monarchists opposing colonialists. The colonial administrators forced people to pile a heap of stones to cover the blood that spilled from his body. This heap has remained to date.

Road infrastructure
Ibanda has 246km roads for the district gazette and community roads. At least four streets in Ibanda Town Council are tarmac. The highway from Mbarara up to Ibanda town is tarmaced. Another road going through the district; Kiruhura-Ibanda -Ishongorero up to Kamwenge town is being paved.

schools
There are 124 government-aided primary schools and 148 privately owned ones. There are 12 government-aided secondary schools.

Health centres

There is one hospital- Ibanda Hospital-owned by the Catholic Church and 43 government health centres.

Economic activity
The major activity for the people of Ibanda is farming. They grow crops like bananas, coffee, beans, millet, maize, potatoes and cassava. They also grow fruits like pineapples, oranges, mangos, ovacados while other farmers look after animals which include cattle, goats and pigs. Others do poultry and beekeeping on a small scale. There are metal fabricators in Ibanda town where youth earn a living by making frames of doors, windows, gates and various commercial activities. There are small scale industries coming up like coffee factories and maize mills.

Movers and shakers of Ibanda district

Eng John Byabagambi is the Member of Parliament for Ibanda South and member of NRM. He is the State Minister for Works.

Mr Amon Mwijukye is the LC5 vice chairperson representing Bisheeshe Sub-county on the district council. Before joining politics Mr Mwijukye served as headteacher in several secondary schools.

Mr Francis Bamya Tumusiime is a politician

Mr Robert Nuwamanya is the Town Clerk for Rushango town council. He served as Community Development Officer and sub-county chief.

Ms Mabel Namara Kakuba has been LC3 Chairperson for Nyabuhikye Sub-county for over 10 years. The former primary school teacher beat three men to the position.

Mr Tom Nuwagira is acting district Natural Resources Officer. He has been instrumental in a forestation and fighting against environmental degradation.

Mr Silver Tumusiimirwa He is a retired senior District Co-operative Officer. He was a Lecturer at Uganda Cooperative College, Kigumba. Currently, he is serving on Ibanda District Service Commission.

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