Kasese district is located in western Uganda, became a district in 1974 when it was curved out of former Toro district.
The district is composed of 30 rural sub counties, 9 urban town councils and 1 municipality with 3 divisions. There are 195 parishes/wards and 861 cells/villages in the district.
It lies between latitudes 0o 12’S and 0o 26N; longitudes 29o 42’E and 30o 18’E. Kasese district is bordered to the North by the district of Bundibungyo, the North East by Bunyangabu, to the South East by Kamwenge, to the South by Rubirizi and to the West by the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Size of the district
The total surface area of Kasese District is 3,389.8 sq.km of this the total land area is 2,949.2 sq.km, the total area of water bodies is 371.8 sq.km and the total area for wetlands is 68.8 sq.km. About 63% of the land area is occupied by nature and wild life conservation schemes and other government projects such as prison land and irrigation farming. The population is mainly concentrated on the stretch between the Rwenzori Mountains, the lake shores and the Western Rift Valley basin. The population density is over 236 persons per sq. Km and the population growth rate is over 2.45% per annum.
The soils range from clay loams, sand loams to Murram in most areas of the district. Vegetation is mainly open Savannah grass which is, in some places mixed with woodland.
Kasese District is one of the 127 districts that constitute the Republic of Uganda. It was gazetted in 1974 having been curved out of the former Tooro district. Before its creation, there was an uprising by the Rwenzururu Movement demanding among other things, for the independence of Bakonzo and Bamba from Tooro Kingdom. This conflict continued up to the early 1980s.
In the 1980s, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) started another uprising in the mountains, which, though on small scale created instability in the mountainous part of the district. In 1996, there was an invasion of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which affected progress of economic activities up today. In addition to the loss of incomes, during the Rwenzururu Movement, there was a great loss in terms of trained personnel who migrated to other safe districts e.g. in Bushenyi and Mubende.
Kasese district is home to the Banya Rwenzururu. This is a part of the population who are part of the Rwenzururu kingdom. The kingdom has a number of cultural counties, clans and clan heads. The Rwenzururu Kingdom is headed by the Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma.
Kasese district is famous for its beauty including the Wild life national parks, the aquatic diversity (Fresh fish lakes, salty lake and rivers falling from the great Mountains of the Moon (Mt. Rwenzori). The Rwenzori ranges including the Margherita and Stanley peaks can be viewed and accessed from the district.
There are a number of mineral resources in Kasese that include: Copper (Kilembe Mines), Cobalt, Cement (Hima), and Limestone (Muhokya). These can further be explored to benefit the people of Kasese. Tousrim is a significant activity within the district given its natural resource endowment including mountains and national parks. National parks in Kasese include: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rwenzori Mountain National Park and Kibale National Park. Wildlife sanctuaries include: Katwe, Kasenyi, Hamukungu while bird sanctuaries are located on the Kazinga Channels with over 6,000 species.
There is a salt lake at Katwe where salt is mined. The western rift valley also goes through the district.
The district experiences bimodal rainfall pattern. The first rains are short and occur during March-May and the longer rains from August-November. Annual rainfall ranges from 800mm-1600mm, and is greatly influenced by altitude. Alongside, there exists wide temperature variations influenced by altitude from rather high temperatures at the plains to as below zero at the summit.
There are over 850 community based organizations in Kasese district. Most of the organizations specialise in advocacy, livelihood, HIV/AIDS, disaster preparedness and micro finance and are spread throughout the entire district.
There are also development agencies operating in the district such as Unicef which is mainly funded areas for improving the quality of life of women and children, SNV which mainly builds the capacity of the district and the lower local governments, RTI which mainly deals in health especially medicines for AIDS patients, Baylor Uganda which operates in areas of reproductive health, KARUDEC which is a local church based organization doing all sorts of development work in the rural areas, CARITAS a local church based organization dealing mainly in agriculture and micro credit, CARE International which has been active in Uganda since 1979 and is mainly into natural resource management, Development Cooperation of Ireland which has mainly focused on effective teaching and learning in schools, Save the Children in Uganda which has of recent invested heavily in the education sector, Compassion International which sponsoring orphans for education and Kilembe Investments Ltd which has partnered with the district to provide power to the rural areas of the district.
There is also number of private companies doing a variety of development work for profit.
Table 1: Kasese District: Key SDGs Indicators of 2016, Declaration Commitment Indicators and the FY 2017-18 status
|2||Deliveries in Govt and NGO health facility||55%||55%|
|3||HIV/AIDS Prevalence rate||11.2%||11.2%|
|4||Under 5 mortality||56/1000||56/1000|
|Maternal Mortality Ratio||122/100,000|
|Neonatal Mortality rate||16/1000|
|5||Under weight at birth at health facility|
|6||Vitamin A supplementation||72%||97.2%|
|7||Deworming of children||67%||96%|
|8||Measles mass Vaccination||69%||101%|
|9||Polio mass Vaccination||117%|
|Water and Sanitation|
|13||% of improved access to water source||84%|
|14||Pupil Stance Ratio||1:109||1:74|
|15||% of 6 year olds that enrol in P1 (Net Intake Rate)- NIR||10.1%|
|16||Net Enrolment Rates (NER)||148,410||153,904|
|17||Pupil Teacher Ratio||1:50||1:52|
|18||Pupil Classroom Ratio||1:89||1:81|
|19||Primary Completion Rate||26%|
|20||Desk pupil ratio||1:8||1:8|
|21||% of 0-5 year-old children whose births are registered|
|22||Drop out rate||8%|
Source: Kasese District Specific MDG Report 2008