Special Reports

Kamuli, the district of firsts

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Believers pray at the Well of life in Kamuli it is believed the

Believers pray at the Well of life in Kamuli it is believed the water from this hot spring have the power to bring fortune. Photo by Opio Sam Caleb. 

By ISAAC MUFUMBA & OPIO SAM CALEB

Posted  Monday, November 25  2013 at  02:00
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KAMULI- Kamuli, the district which gave Uganda its first post-independence Vice President, Sir William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope, was created in 1974.

The district has an estimated population of 600,000 people strewn in the 13 sub-counties of Balawoli, Bugulumbya, Bulopa, Butansi, Kamuli Town Council, Kisozi, Kitayunjwa, Mbulamuti, Nabwigulu, Namasagali, Namwendwa, Nawanyago and Wankole. Kamuli is named after its chief town.

Kamuli remains a district of firsts having given Uganda its first post-independence minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mathias Ngobi, first female Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, and the first opposition leaning female district chairperson, Ms Proscovia Salaamu Musumba.

The district which borders Kayunga to the west, Buyende to the north, Luuka to the east and Jinja to the south, is also the only district whose chairperson does not have an official car.

Economic activities
Some fishing is carried out in the waters of the River Nile and the few patches of Lake Kyoga that were left following the curving off of Buyende district. However, agriculture is the main stay and backbone of the local economy. More than 90 per cent of the population depends on agriculture for food, employment and household incomes.
Cotton, coffee and groundnuts are the main cash crops. Citrus farming is being revived.

Food crops are maize, cassava and potatoes, but total dependence on the two rainyseasons, one that starts in March and ends in May, and the second which begins in August and often ends in October. This dependence on the rains means food shortages often arise whenever there are changes in the season.

The Savannah vegetation allows for dairy and beef farming in the more sparsely populated areas, but the industry remains largely undeveloped because the local farmers hoist on the rearing of local or unimproved livestock breeds, poor livestock production technologies and epidemics like tick borne and trypanosomiasis.

Goat rearing, piggery and poultry farming are also practiced, but to a very small extent.

Prince William Gabula IV, is the hereditary chief and cultural leader of Bugabula Chiefdom, which covers Kamuli and Buyende districts and is one of the 11 traditional hereditary counties that constitute what is today known as the Busoga Kingdom. Prince Gabula is one of the claimants to the Kyabazinga’s throne.

Ms Salaamu Musumba is the chairperson of Kamuli District.

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, who has since become the first female Speaker of Parliament has been the District’s Woman MP since 1996. Prior to that, Kadaga who is also the Chairperson of the Busoga Parliamentary Group, Patron of the Busoga People’s Forum and Vice Chairman of the Ruling NRM represented the women in the National Resistance Council (NRC).

Jackson Baguma serves as the district fisheries officer.
Simon Gerald Menhya. The former Programme Unit manager, Plan Kamuli Programme area and immediate former Bugabula North MP, is now an Assistant Commissioner in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Elijah Madoi, the Deputy RDC is popularly referred to as a political pastor.
John Basalirwa, a professional teacher who was once Chairman of the District Youth Council is now the Vice Chairman of the district.

Samuel Bamwole is the Speaker of the Kamuli District Local Council.

Sos-Pateri Kaisa. Though he has since taken the back sit on account of his advanced age, one cannot talk about attempts at transforming the dairy farming industry without talking about him. He set up the first milk cooling plant in Kamuli.
Wilberforce Tigawalana, a milk merchant and model farmer is also the honorary president of Kamuli Think Tank.

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