Jinja, the rock that gave us River Nile
Posted Monday, October 7 2013 at 01:00
JINJA- The district was named after its biggest town, Jinja.
The origin of the name can be traced back to the languages of the people of Busoga and Buganda who live on either side of the River Nile. In both languages the word Jinja means “Rock”. In the case of Jinja, it was used to refer to the large flat rocks where small boats would be launched to cross the river from Busoga region.
Eventually, the area was referred to as the Place of the Flat Rock or “Ku Jinja”. The name was to later be taken up by the Basoga and British colonialists.
Made up of three counties; Butembe, Kagoma and Jinja Municipality, the District which has 10 sub-counties, three town councils and one municipality has an area of 767.7sq Km of which 701.9 sq km is land and the rest (65.8 Sq km) is covered by water bodies.
Bordered by Kamuli to the North, Luuka to the East, Mayuge to the South East, Buvuma to the South, Buikwe to the West and Kayunga to the Northwest, Jinja was by 2010 estimated to have a population of 491,000 people.
Tourism: Tourism is one of the biggest source of revenue outside agriculture and industrialisation. Major tourist attractions include the Source of the Nile, Nalubaale (formerOwen Falls) Dam, Lake Bujagali, Itanda and Kyabirwa Falls, Nabamba Bujagali’s shrine, and Mpumwiire Hill where Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro is believed to have met his death.
Health facilities: Jinja Regional Referral Hospital has a bed capacity of 450. The district is backed up by 36 government dispensaries and 13 Health Centre IIIs, and four Health Center IVs. There are nine private dispensaries, 26 clinics, three Health Centre IIIs and two hospitals.
Education: Jinja has 151 primary schools of which 105 are government-owned or aided. Thirty-five are private while 11 are community schools. The district also has 56 secondary schools, one teacher training school, two schools of nursing and midwifery and a laboratory technicians’ school. Fairland University is the only university in the district.
Education sector: Diana Nyago. Nyago (above) is the head teacher of Jinja Secondary School, arguably one of the most populated schools in the region. Petronella Lujwala. She is the headmistress of Paravatiben Mulijibhai Madhvani Girls School, the biggest girls’ day secondary school in the town.
Deborah Basekanakyo Wesonga, is the head teacher of Wanyange Girls’ School.
Daniel Kayiima is the head teacher of Kiira College Butiki.
Apollo Lyada is the head teacher MM College Wairaka.
Christopher Waiswa. He is the acting head teacher of Busoga College, Mwiri. He took over following the violent strike at the school earlier in the year.
Joseph Kawuki. He is the head teacher of Jinja College.
Abraham Were. He is the District Education Officer.
WHO IS WHO IN JINJA
Fred Gume, LC5 chairman: Mr Gume is serving his second term as district chairman after the first stint ended in 2006 when Lt Hannington Basakana beat him in the polls. The former footballer and head prefect of Iganga SS is said to be eyeing a parliamentary seat.
Muhammad Baswari Kezaala, mayor: He first served as a councillor in Jinja Central Division and became the Central Division chairman in 2001. He captured the mayor’s seat in 2006 and retained it in 2011. He also has eyes on Parliament.
Paul Balidawa, LC5 vice chairman: The Kakira Sub-county councillor was a surprise appointment by Mr Gume given that he is a relatively new face in the politics of the district. That has, however, not stopped him from asserting himself on the throne.