Kyenjonjo: Home of elephants, chimps

Monday April 28 2014

An elephant in Kibale National Park which gave Kyenjojo its name to

An elephant in Kibale National Park which gave Kyenjojo its name to mean home of elephants. PHOTO BY Rachel Mabala 


Kyenjojo- Kyenjojo is a district in the Rwenzori sub-region in western Uganda. The name Kyenjojo simply means a place for elephants (Enjojo derived from the Rutooro word to mean elephants).
Travellers on Fort Portal-Kampala road used to tell stories of encounters with elephants on the way to Kyenjojo through Kibale Forest National Park that cuts across part of the district.
Kibale Forest National Park covers part of Kamwenge, Kabarole and a bigger part of Kyenjojo District.
The district was established in 2000 and carved out of Kabarole District which also later gave birth to Kyegegwa District in 2009.
It is part of Tooro Kingdom, which is mainly referred to as Mwenge County and its people as Abanyamwenge.
“Mwenge” means “banana beer” so Mwenge County is famous for its banana beer production. It is now divided into two counties: Mwenge North and Mwenge South.
Kyenjojo is bordered by Kibaale District to the north, Kyegegwa to the east, Kamwenge to the south west and Kabarole District to the west.
It is about 250kms by road, west of Kampala or a 3-hour-drive from Kampala and covers an approximate 2,311.04sqKms of land.
The district is composed of Batooro, Bakiga and Banyarwanda tribes.
The district has a population of 392,800 persons (195,300 males and 197,500 females) and the district population growth rate is at 3.37 per cent according to the district administration records.
The administrative set up is composed of one County (Mwenge), two parliamentary constituencies (Mwenge North and Mwenge South), 12 sub-counties, four town councils, 99 parishes and 19 wards, one town board (Rugombe) and 666 villages.
Health services
The staffing level in the health department is at 54 per cent with one general hospital with staffing level of 24 per cent,one health centre 1V (Kyarusozi), two health sub-districts (Kyenjojo and Kyarusozi), 11 health centre IIIs, 12 health centre IIs, two operating theaters and six doctors.
The average distance to a health unit is 5kms.
Road infrastructure
There are 289.3 Km (103kms tarmac while 186.3kms gravel) while feeder roads cover 351.4kms.

Safe water coverage
The number of main safe water sources is 151 bore holes, 10 piped water schemes with a total of 373 taps, 561 shallow wells, 511 protected springs 141 surface water tanks and one underground water tank.
Safe water coverage is at 72.3 per cent while the distance covered to access a source is 5km for urban taps, 1.2km for rural facilities.
Kyenjojo contributes a big part in the tea industry in the Tooro region. It has five tea factories
The district is endowed with a variety of natural resources. The majority of the people depend on them for their livelihoods in terms of food, shelter and income. These include forests, wetlands, minerals, wildlife, good climate, and arable soil among others.
Forest cover
Kyenjojo has 11 central forest reserves: Itwara, Matiri, Kagorra, Kitecura, Ibambaro, Muhangi, Kibego, Nkera, Oruha, Kikumiro and Kyehara.

Kyenjojo has favourable climatic conditions with cool temperatures and a bimodal annual rainfall of about 2,000mm throughout the year with well drained fertile soils.
The district is neighbouring Kibaale Forest National Park which is home to various animal species such as elephants, chimpanzees, antelopes and monkeys, baboons, bush pigs, various butterflies and a diversity of birds and plant species.

A few meters on Kyenjojo-Kagadi road in Kyenjojo Town is Katoosa Martyrs Villa known by the village in which it is located.

The tourist site is visited for the rocks that have become famous for the 24 Ugandan martyrs killed by Kabaka Mwanga in the 1880’s.

The rocks which have inscriptions of the Martyrs, with their names and dates when they were killed, gives the place a splendid look with rocks leaning on each other and others standing as high as the trees.


The villa, which has more than 30 stones, was established after the Catholics came to know that Saint Adolf Tibeyalirwa Abwooli is from Katoosa Parish, Kyenjojo District, Fort Portal Diocese.

Hassan Mugerwa Kajumba is the OC station Kyenjojo who has played a big part in crime elimination in the district.

David Mwinganiza is a doctor and owns Midastouch Hospital in Kyenjojo Town.

James Byamukama is the district chairman and a commissioner of oaths

Joyce Kwebiiha aka Mama Mission is the former Woman MP Kyenjojo District.

Aston Kajara is state minister for Finance and MP Mwenge South. He has represented the constituency in Parliament from 2001 until 2006 and from 2011 until now.

Elizabeth Ruhweza is the senior assistant secretary at Kihuura sub-county and a prominent farmer.

James Kats Karyeija is the chairman the opposition FDC party in Mwenge South.

Peter Mugisha is Kyenjojo RDC and the chairperson of the district security committee.

Col Tom Butime was minister of state for Communications. He is the former Mwenge North MP.

Hannington Mbabazi is the executive director, The Giants Magazine, a popular publication in the district.

Grace Kemigisa is the town clerk at Butunduzi Town Council.

Grace Tumuranze is the Kyenjojo vice chairperson LC5 and secretary for production and natural resources.

Stephen Binta Byabazaire is the district programme coordinator.

Moses Bukenya is the district surveyor.