District location in Uganda
|• Land||1,444.9 km2 (557.9 sq mi)|
|• Water||222.4 km2 (85.9 sq mi)|
|Population (2012 Estimate)|
|• Density||241/km2 (620/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
Rukungiri District is bordered by Rubirizi District to the north, Mitooma District to the east, Ntungamo District to the southeast, Kabale District to the south, Kanungu District to the west and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the northwest. The district headquarters at Rukungiri are located approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda's capital city. The coordinates of the district are:00 47S, 29 56S.
The district was created in 1974 and was known then as North Kigezi District. Its name changed to Rukungiri District in 1980, a name it derived from its 'chief town' of Rukungiri. When Kanungu District was split off to form a separate district, Rukungiri District was reduced to two counties: Rujumbura County and Rubabo County. Rukungiri District is endowed with rich soils and a good climate for agriculture.
The district is the birthplace of Colonel (Retired) Warren Kizza Besigye Kifefe, who was a candidate for the Ugandan Presidency in 2001, 2006 and 2011. Other prominent Ugandans who hail from Rukungiri District include General Aronda Nyakayirima, the current Minister of Internal Affairs and Brigadier Henry Tumukunde, formerly the Director of Uganda's Internal Security Organisation (ISO). One of the Parliamentary representatives of this District is Major General (Retired) James Muhwezi Katugugu. Other native sons include Mzee Kakururu, Chairman of the Electoral Commission in the 1980s, Professor Mondo Kagonyera, the Chancellor of Makerere University and the late Kosia Kikira.
In 1991, the population of the district was estimated at about 230,100. The 2002 national census estimated the population of the district at about 275,200. The district annual population growth rate was calculated at 1.6%. In 2012 the population of Rukungiri District was estimated at approximately 321,300. The table numerically illustrates the district population growth between 2002 and 2012. All numbers are estimates.
|Rukungiri District Population Trends|
The mainstay of the economy of Rukungiri District, like the rest of the country, is agriculture. More than 90% of the population are engaged in farming. Of the 1,524.28 square kilometres (588.53 sq mi) total land area of the district, 1,352.3 square kilometres (522.1 sq mi) is arable land. Out of these, 1,150 square kilometres (440 sq mi) are already under cultivation. However, production is mainly subsistence although the soils are very fertile and with potential for intensive commercial farming. The two chief cash crops are coffee and matooke.
The district also has some of the best dairy farms in the country especially in the sub counties of Kebisoni and Buyanja. About 3.52 million liters of milk are produced in the district annually. Due to the altitude, Rukungiri District is ideal for cultivation of all crops including temperate fruits. Thus in many sub counties there are successful farmers engaged in the production of grapes, apples, pears and peaches. A number of people also derive their livelihood from fishing, particularly from Lake Edward. Fish farming is also practiced by some families. Employment in urban centers is scarce, with many qualified candidates clamoring for the few available positions.
The following tourist attractions are located in Rukungiri District:
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park - 80 kilometres (50 mi), by road, southwest of downtown Rukungiri. Most of the area of the Park is found in Rukungiri District.
- Queen Elizabeth National Park - A significant part of the Park is found in Rukungiri District.
- Hot Springs and Geysers - Located about 20 kilometres (12 mi), by road, from Rukungiri town; they include: (a) Ilimbo Hot Springs in Bwabara and (b) Minera Hot Springs in Kebisoni.
- Kisizi Falls - Located 40 kilometres (25 mi) along the Rukungiri-Kabale road. Location of a mini hydropower project that provides power to Kisizi Hospital.
- Scenic Views - The escarpments and deep valleys along the Rukungiri-Bwindi road offer a rare opportunity for scenic viewing.
Other points of interest
The following points of interest are located in Rukungiri District:
- Kisizi Hospital - A 250-bed private hospital administered by the Church of Uganda
- Ishasha Airport - An airfield located in Queen Elizabeth National Park, near the town of Ishasha, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- "Distance Between Kampala And Rukungiri With Map". Globefeed.com. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Major General Muhwezi Jim Katugugu Represents Rujumbura County, Rukungiri District In Parliament". Parliament of Uganda. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Estimated Population of Rukungiri In 1991, 2002 & 2012". Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Birungi, Machrine (21 January 2011). "200 Compete For 45 Jobs In Rukungiri". Uganda Radio Network. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Community Involvement in Obstetric Emergency Management in Rural Areas: A Case of Rukungiri District, Western Uganda