Kalangala: The 84 islands of fish, oil and vast tourism potential

Thursday November 21 2013

Nanziri Water Falls 1 on Bukasa Island

Nanziri Water Falls 1 on Bukasa Island. Photo By Lubulwa Henry. 

By Allan Chekwech & Henry Lubulwa

Kalangala- Kalangala is comprised of 84 islands on Lake Victoria with only 63 of them inhabited. The Ssese Islands that make up Kalangala District are located 55km from Entebbe, Northwest of Lake Victoria.

The district boasts of some of the greatest natural gifts awaiting exploitation in the tourism sector.

The district is part of Buganda Kingdom, housing many of Buganda’s cultural sites, including Luggo forest which has the Ddamula, a tree cut to model a stick that prescribes full instruments of power given to an incoming Premier of Buganda. There is also Bukasa Shrine one of the most crucial shrines in Buganda. Fr Christopher Walusimbi, the deputy Saza Chief (Kweba), says Kalangala’s heritage plays a big role in Buganda.

Fr Walusimbi adds: “Ssese Islands are referred to as the Islands of the gods, all the origins of different clans, as well as those that came with Kintu, have important shrines in Ssese. For this reason, some have suggested that wherever Kintu came from, he must have come through Ssese at some point before he got to Buganda.

That is also why till the 1900 Buganda Agreement, the Islands were not recogonised as a county and kings never established their rule over them.”
However, Col Kaka Bagyenda, a retired soldier and proprietor of Panaroma Cottages, says the government should improve the transport sector in order to increase income generation from tourism in the area.

Tourist sites: The famous tourist attractions are Nsirwe Island, famous for both bird and spider breeding. Bugaba Island, the birth and home place of the African Grey parrots. It also hosts a living sample of a true African virgin Equatorial forest, Bukasa Island with caves that keep Buganda’s heritage and Nanziri falls, another beauty that attracts many tourists from all over the world.

The beaches in Kalangala Town Council are the best tourist destinations in the district.

Education: There are 21 primary schools and three secondary schools in the different Islands. According to the District Information office, students do not go to school mostly because they are far and yet the transport system Is not reliable.

Health: The district has 11 health facilities; two health centre IVs with Kalangala health Centre IV as the main health facility, 6 health centre IIIs and 2 health centre IIs but has no hospital and ambulance to transport patients to referral hospitals.

Kalangala posts one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the country at 18 per cent. This has been blamed on the reckless lifestyle of the fishing community.
The district also faces major sanitation challenges with many homesteads still lacking pit- latrines and toilets.

Economic activities: Fishing is the main economic activity carried out in all the islands.
although commercial and sustainable agriculture has been adopted with Palm Oil mainly grown in Bujumba, Mugoye Sub counties and Kalangala Town council.

Movers and shakers

Ruth Kavuma Nvumetta: She is the former Kalangala woman representative in Parliament. She advocates for women’s rights and former headmistress Gayaza High School.

Kalori Ssemwoegerere: He belongs to the Ssemwogerere family, one of the families with the biggest chunk of land in the district.

Gen Katumba Wamala: The army commander comes from Ddajje in Bujumba Sub-county.

Tim Lwanga Muteekanga: He is an MP for Kyamuswa County in kalangala District. He is the chairperson Budget committee of Parliament .

Col Frank Kaka Bagyenda: He is a bush war hero who owns about five Islands, including Lwamayiba.

Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere: The veteran politician is the former DP president general, and former presidential aspirant in 1980 and 1996.

Charles Ntale: operates construction, transport businesses, a lodge owner and is an agent for Bidco.

Hajj Sulait Lutaakome: He has served as Kalangala mayor since 1996. He is credited for the construction of the office block and the central market.

Henry Cherotich: The man from Kapchorwa is the officer in charge of Kalangala Prisons.

Carol Nanyondo: is the district woman MP.

Vereriano Ssenabulya: He is the district speaker. His experience in debating has helped uplift the quality of debate in the District council.

Dr Edward Muwanga: He is the district veterinary officer who has also served as the area HIV focal person since 2007.

Alex Nandejje: is the district internal security officer and says security on the island has improved.

Cyprian Kavuma: is the district commercial officer. He oversees more than 400 business entities.

Daniel Balwonda: is the district natural resources officer.

Fred Bada: is the MP for Bujumba County for the past 13 years. He is also a prominent farmer with 30 acres of palm oil, and other produce. He is also a businessman and an investor.

Geofrey Gingo Kasule is the chief finance officer of Kalangala District.

Frank Ssemakula: is the chairperson of the youth in Kalangala.

Edward Maalo: is the coordinator of Kalangala District NGO forum.

Fr. Eugene Sepuuya: He is the Bumagi Parish priest. He is also spearheading many income-generating

activities in the district

Emmanuel Nseko: He is the district education officer. He has helped Kalangala improve on grades in Primary Leaving Exams, UCE and UACE.

John J. Opiro: He is the managing director of Kalangala Infrastructure Services Ltd, a company that is constructing roads, availing electricity, water and providing transport.

James Kibuuka Mulowooza: is the proprietor of Ssese Habitat Resort Beach.

Jackson Baguma: serves as the district fisheries officer.

Novatus Bahiremwa Mukajanga: He has served as the district engineer for 10 years. Before coming to Kalangala, Bahiremwa served as acting district engineer for Mityana.

Daniel Kikoola: He is considered the father of Kalangala District after his hard fight while still the Kalangala representative to Masaka District Council. He was the first chairperson of Kalangala District, He is a farmer rearing pigs and growing oil palm. He also rears goats and chicken. He has taught many youth how to prosper in life.

Rev Edward Ggombe: is the parish priest of Ssese Parish. He has worked for five years since he was transferred from St Luke church, Kibuye in Makindye.

Shiek Idris Mayanja: He is the Kalangala District Khadi and a human rights activist. He currently heads the Muslim Community in Kalangala as well as the district land commision. He has been settling many land cases in Kalangala. He is mostly remembered for siding with Shiek Zubair Kayongo to stop Mufti Shiek Ramadan Mubajje from visiting Kalangala.

Barbara Kikomeko: is the director of Ssese Island Beach, a facility started by her parents, MrWilliam Kikomeko and Joyce Kikomeko.

Nelson Basalide: He heads Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust, the Unbrella body that helps all people who grow Oil palm in Kalangala He Links oil palm growers to mother company Oil Palm Uganda Limited and BIDCO the company that buys oil palm from the out growers in Kalangala District.

Fr Christopher Walusimbi: He is the Ssese Saza chief (Kweba). He heads the Orthodox Church in the district. He has been involved in many projects that have seen Ssese develop.

Mark Bukenya: He is the Kalangala Town Clerk

Capt. Mulindwa Birimumaso: He is a former MP for Bukoto West and a retired soldier. Birimumaso is the proprietor of Pearl Gardens Beach, a facility located on 35 acres of land and employs 37 people.

Innocent Agaba
He is the Principal of Ssese Agricultural Farm Institute, one of the best agricultural schools in Uganda.

Robinson Kizza is a businessman dealing in hardware, transportation and is the proprietor of Upland Guest House. He is also a prominent farmer.

Julius Mukasa Opondo is a prominent farmer and a model to many agriculturalists with several farms of palm oil and other crops. He is also the district secretary of Finance.

Dr John Kaboggoza. The former Dean at the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Resources of Makerere University for 30 years is the proprietor of Mirembe Resort Beach.

Geofrey Gingo Kasule is the chief finance officer of Kalangala District.

Michael wanje is the Deputy CAO of the district.

Godfrey Ssekisonge: He is the DP vice chairperson for people living abroad. He has frequently been treating people through his Ssese Mobile Clinic which moves from Island to Island.

Monica Nabateregga: She is the manager of Victoria Forest Resort Beach. The facility is hub to many tourists.

Harriet Namisango: She is the cordinator Kalangala District Women Initiative for Development. She has always championed women and children’s’ rights in the district. She is the brain behind the trial of many rape cases in Kalangala.

Ronald Muteyi: He is the Kalangala District Naads coordinator and is responsible for the improved agriculture sector in the district.

Prof Peter Muyanda Mutebi: served at the National Curriculum Development Centre.
Mercy Ssemakula: is the manager of Mirembe Resort Beach and employs several people in the resort.
Ben S Abila: Oversees the Ssese Habitat Resort that is owned by businessman Mulowooza.

Willy Lugoloobi; is the district chairperson. He rose to the top political seat after the 2011 elections. He is credited for spearheading unity teams and being at the forefront in the fight against corruption.

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