Kibaale District

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Kibaale District
District location in Uganda
District location in Uganda
Coordinates: 00°58′N 30°59′E / 0.967°N 30.983°E / 0.967; 30.983Coordinates: 00°58′N 30°59′E / 0.967°N 30.983°E / 0.967; 30.983
Country  Uganda
Region Western Uganda
Sub-region Bunyoro sub-region
Capital Kibaale
 • Total 5,100.8 km2 (1,969.4 sq mi)
 • Land 4,245.8 km2 (1,639.3 sq mi)
 • Water 855 km2 (330 sq mi)
Elevation 1,130 m (3,710 ft)
Population (2012 Estimate)
 • Total 681,300
 • Density 160.5/km2 (416/sq mi)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Kibaale District, sometimes spelled as Kibale District, is a district in Western Uganda. Like most other Ugandan districts, it is named after its 'chief town', Kibaale, where the district headquarters are located.


Kibaale District is bordered by Hoima District to the north, Kyankwanzi District to the northeast, Mubende District to the east, Kyegegwa District to the southeast, Kyenjojo District and Kabarole District to the southwest and Ntoroko District to the west.[1] The district headquarters at Kibaale are located approximately 219 kilometres (136 mi), by road, west of Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city.[2] The coordinates of the district are:00 58N, 30 59E.


Kibaale District stretches out on the Central Plateau at an altitude between 680 metres (2,230 ft) and 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) above sea level. The climate is tropical with relatively reliable rainfall that ranges between 1,000 millimetres (39 in) and 1,500 millimetres (59 in), spread over two productive agricultural seasons. The wet seasons between September to December and March to May are intercepted by two dry periods. The district consists of three counties, each of which has a commercial centre, namely: 1. Buyaga County, the largest county 2. Bugangaizi County and 3. Buyanja County – the smallest.

The largest town in the district is Kagadi, in Buyaga County followed by Karuguuza in Buyanja County. Kibaale located near Karuguuza is the location of the district headquarters. A main trunk road was built in 1997, as a result of co-operation between the governments of Uganda and Ireland. The road connects the towns of Mubende, Kakumiro, Kibaale and Kagadi.

The Ugandan government has plans to split the district into three smaller districts. However, those plans are on hold due to funding constraints.[3][4]


Kibaale District is part of the Kingdom of Bunyoro, one of the ancient traditional monarchies in Uganda. The kingdom is coterminus with Bunyoro sub-region, home to an estimated 800,000 inhabitants in 2002, according to the national population and household census, held that year. The five districts in Bunyoro sub-region are: Bulisa District, Hoima District, Kibaale District, Kiryandongo District and Masindi District. Kibaale District is part of an area known as “Lost Counties”.

In 1900, the 1900 Uganda Agreement defined the boundaries of Buganda Kingdom, including the important areas of Bunyoro south and east of the Kafu River.[5] The area soon became known as the “Lost Counties”. The counties were included as a sub-national territorial element of Buganda. The administration of the “Lost Counties” as well as Bunyoro itself was modelled on the Buganda political system and under the leadership of Baganda chiefs. In addition to land the Baganda held political and administrative positions from village chief and upwards. The Baganda also controlled schools and churches in the “Lost Counties”, and Luganda was the only native language allowed in public institutions. Buganda was at the center of the colony while Bunyoro remained as a subsidiary territory.

After a referendum in 1964 the counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi, which constitute present-day Kibaale District, went to Bunyoro Kingdom, and subsequently political and administrative control shifted from Baganda to Banyoro hands. President Obote abolished the kingdoms in 1967, but the counties remained part of Bunyoro District. In 1974 Bunyoro was divided into North Bunyoro and South Bunyoro, which were renamed Masindi District and Hoima District, respectively, in 1980. In 1991 Buyaga and Bugangaizi separated from Hoima District and became Kibaale District.

Ebola outbreak[edit]

In July 2012, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease was reported in Kagadi, and as of 14 August 2012, had infected 24 and killed 16, a 66% case fatality rate, bringing back memories of the 2000 Uganda Ebola outbreak. Officials urged people not to panic, and a national emergency task force was established. The government, World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent experts to tackle the outbreak.[6][7][8]


The 1991 national population census estimated the district population at about 220,300. In 2002, the national census that year put the population of the district had at about 405,900 inhabitants. The annual population growth rate of the district was estimated at 5.4%. It is estimated that the population of the district in 2012 was approximately 681,300.[9]

The table below illustrates the population growth trajectory during the first decade of the 21st century. All figures are estimates.

Kibaale District Population Trends
Year Est. Pop.
2002 405,900
2003 427,800
2004 450,900
2005 475,200
Year Est. Pop.
2006 500,900
2007 527,900
2008 556,400
2009 586,400
Year Est. Pop.
2010 618,100
2011 651,500


Kibaale District is socially heterogeneous, with more than thirty two registered ethnic groups, but only half of the population are Banyoro, and the remainder are of Ugandan immigrant origin. About 60% of the population are Catholics, 30% belong to the Church of Uganda, and 3% are registered as Muslims. The district, like most of Western Uganda, is a predominantly rural area, with an average population density of around 145 persons per km². Only about 1% of the inhabitants live in urban settlements. Kibaale District has the highest fertility rate in Uganda (8.2)[10]

Economic activities[edit]

Agriculture is the mainstay of the district economy although only 12 percent of the arable land is currently cultivated. The population is mainly engaged in subsistence production of food crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, millet, beans, bananas and groundnuts. Bananas cover an estimated 14,400 hectares (56 sq mi), of which 90% are for brewing enguuli, the undistilled precursor of Uganda Waragi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Uganda District Map
  2. ^ "Road Distance Between Kampala And Kibaale With Map". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Ssekika, Edward (29 September 2010). "Kibaale District Splits Self Into 3". The Observer (Uganda). Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Kivabulaya, Fredrick (10 May 2012). "Kibaale Leaders Wait For Kakumiro, Kagadi Districts". uganda Radio Network Online. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Espeland, Rune Hjalmar. "The "Lost Counties": Politics of Land Rights and Belonging in Uganda". 
  6. ^ Muhumuza, Rodney (28 July 2012). "Officials: Uganda Ebola Outbreak Kills 14". NBC News. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Ni Chonghaile, Clar (29 July 2012). "Uganda Ebola Outbreak: Patients Flee Hospital Amid Contagion Fears". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Ebola in Uganda - update accessed=18 August 2012 World Heath Organization
  9. ^ "Estimated Population of Kibaale District In 1991, 2002 & 2012". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Uganda Population Dynamics: 2002 National Population Census" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 

External links[edit]