The most priceless feature of this serene rural town is the panoramic view. The town is surrounded by towering mountains and dense tracts of greenery that stretch as far as the eye can go. Rugombe is found in Kyenjojo District, 31 kilometres from Fort Portal Town.
One can reach it using the Fort Portal-Kyenjojo Road while those from Kampala can use Kampala-Fort Portal Road. It is an ideal place for constructing a country home, a country resort or farming.
It is dominated by tea estates and tea factories such as Mabale growers’ tea factory, Kyarusozi growers’ tea company, Munobwa tea estates and Hima tea factory which many say has offered opportunity for the town’s growth.
The new tarmac road from Fort Portal Town that passes through Kyenjojo District has infused this town with a new life. A number of businesses have since been established to serve the steadily growing transit community of tourists heading to nearby Oruha Forest Reserve and Kibaale National Park.
According to Job Rodgers Mukonyezi, a local businessman, the town has now become a hot spot centre for investment startup businesses. The most thriving businesses so far are those that offer hospitality services such as bars, hotels and guest houses.
There are also a number of agriculture support businesses such as wholesale and retail foodstuff, coffee and maize milling factories among others.
John Mugumbe, a resident and tea farmer says population growth in the town has been sudden and huge. This has made housing facilities and hospitality services scarce and insufficient.
“Most eateries are makeshift while others offer substandard services, yet people still flock to them because they are operating in a monopoly.
A plate of food costs between Shs3, 000 and Shs5, 000 depending on the type of meal,” Mugumbe says. He further says the only option for people who want better services is travelling to Kyenjojo or Fort Portal towns.
Sarah Kemigabo, who runs a local eatery place says the demand is overwhelming for her small capital. “We get customers who expect first class service but we are also limited by, among others, our capital and lack of accommodation and skilled labour. But with time, we will get there,” says Kemigabo who earns about Shs80,000 daily from her small business.
For those who want to spend a night, Rugombe has got few accommodation facilities such as Osageyo Bar and lodge, Big Zone and Mukanytsi and a night costs between Shs10, 000 and Shs20, 000.
Cost of land
According to Chris Rwamwenge, a landlord in Rugombe Town, the cost of land especially close to the main road is between Shs60m and Shs70m for 50×100ft plot depending on its location while the same plot away from the highway is between Shs30m and Shs45m.
The land in Rugombe is fertile and supports the growing of tea, coffee, and banana plantations, among others.
James Alinaitwe, a businessman says single rooms on Fort Portal-Kyenjojo highway in Rugombe Town, for businesses such as shops, cost between Shs250, 000 and Shs300, 000 monthly, depending on the size while other commercial houses further from the main road cost between Shs100, 000 and Shs150, 000.
The residential houses cost between Shs70, 000 and Shs80, 000 per month connected to electricity while those with no electricity are at Shs50, 000 and Shs60, 000.
Rugombe town growth
Residents attribute the town’s impressive growth and development to the completion of Fort Portal-Kyenjojo Road which has made the area easily accessible. Rugombe is also able to attract business from neighbouring trading centres of Nyamabuga, Kisagi and Mitooma.
The Rugombe flea market that operates every Friday has also been a big contributing factor.
The town boasts of two fuelling stations, a number of primary and secondary schools, government funded and private health centres, among others, all in walkable distances.
The land in Rugombe is fertile and supports the growing of tea, coffee, and banana plantations, among others. There are also many tea outgrowers in the villages neighbouring Rugombe Town.