Saka gets its name from Lake Saka, which is a few metres away from the new Mountains of the Moon University main campus in Kabarole District. The name Saka is more popular than names of Kasidikwa and Kibimba villages, where Saka is located.
The area is becoming a real estate spot because of increased investments, thanks to the presence of Mountains of the Moon University. The university has more than 2,000 students.
The university opened in 2005 in Kabudaire, Fort Portal Municipality but later acquired land in Saka.
In 2017, it started to move some of its offices from its former headquarters in Fort Portal town to its new headquarters in Saka.
This has increased the demand for houses in this area. Saka is experiencing a mad rush for land from investors who would like to construct student hostels, eateries, accommodation and other commercial houses. Since 2017, investors have been establishing investments such as hostels, rental houses for business, and restaurants.
However, there are still plots of land that can be developed.
The good news is that Mountains of the Moon is soon becoming a public university, thus is projected to attract a bigger number of students, which means increased demand for accommodation facilities. So, if you would like to invest in student accommodation, Saka, could be the place for you.
Saka is 7 kilometres away from Fort Portal Town. A boda boda ride from the town to Saka costs between Shs2,000 and Shs3,000, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Building residential houses
If you would like to build student hostels or any kind of accomodation in Saka, there is land readily available for sale. There are several posters with adverts of land for sale.
Currently, Saka has more than 10 hostels that have been constructed since 2017, an indication that the area is still growing.
For people who want to run businesses near the university, a commercial room is rented at Shs100,000 while one for accommodation is between Shs100,000 and Shs150,000 a month. Student hostels cost between Shs400,00 and Shs600,000 for the four-month semester.
Cost of land
The cost of land in Saka has doubled because of Mountains of the Moon University. Alfred Kusemerewa, the village chairman Kasidikwa, says in the past, nobody could be interested in buying a plot of land in Saka area because there was no hope for development.
A 50×100ft plot, which was Shs3m in 2005 is now at Shs30m.
Robert Bazira, a resident of the area, says everyday over five people come to the area looking plots of land for sale and that all plots near the university have been bought. Most investors are building hostels and hotels.
He says some people turned their residential houses to hostels because of increased demand from university students and staff but say some people still travel to Fort Portal Town to get accommodation.
The area has Muhoti Army barracks and Katojo government prison, which help ensure the area is secure.
Other services in the area
The area has Army Muhoti barracks health centre II, Katojo prisons health centre III, and is also connected to electricity.
Saka is also connected to national water. Children in the area can access primary education from mountains of moon army primary school.
The seven-kilometre road from Fort Portal town is murrum but passable.