Lake Bunyonyi

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Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi (8146148093).jpg
Location South-western Uganda
Coordinates 1°17′S 29°55′E / 1.283°S 29.917°E / -1.283; 29.917Coordinates: 1°17′S 29°55′E / 1.283°S 29.917°E / -1.283; 29.917
Type fresh water
Basin countries Uganda
Max. length 25 km (16 mi)
Max. width 7 km (4.3 mi)
Max. depth ca. 44–900 m (144–2,953 ft) ?
Surface elevation 1,962 m (6,437 ft)
Rivers and lakes of Uganda. Bunyonyi is the relatively small lake in the far south-western corner of the country, just opposite the (on this map) similar-sized Lake Burera in Rwanda.

Lake Bunyonyi ("Place of many little birds")[citation needed] is in south-western Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale,[citation needed] and it is close to the border with Rwanda.[citation needed] The lake appears on the 5,000 Ugandan shilling note under the title "Lake Bunyonyi and terraces".

Towns on its shores include Kyevu and Muko, while its 29 islands include Punishment Island and Bushara Island.

Geography[edit]

Lake Bunyonyi is a body of water 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) west of Kabale town.[citation needed]

Main islands[edit]

Akampene (Punishment Island)[edit]

Punishment Island in Lake Bunyonyi

The Bakiga used to leave unmarried pregnant girls on this small island with - to die of hunger or while trying to swim to the mainland (swimming skills were rare).[1] This was to intimidate the rest, to show them not to do the same. A man without cows to pay the bride price could go to the island and pick up a girl.[1] The practice got abandoned in the first half of the 20th century.[1]

Camp on the shore of Lake Bunyonyi

Bwama and Njuyeera (Sharp's Island)[edit]

In 1921, English missionary Leonard Sharp came to this part of Uganda and in 1931 established a leprosy treatment centre on the then uninhabited Bwama island.[2] A church, patient quarters (model villages), and a medical facility were built, while Sharp settled on Njuyeera Island (probably meaning "white cottage" after the similarity of the doctor's small white house to Sharp's father's house in Shanklin, now The White House Hotel). The rationale of the leprosy colony was that of "voluntary segregation'", where the provision of a happy community to live in would attract leprosy sufferers, so removing them from the communities where they might infect others.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Uganda's Punishment Island: 'I was left to die on an island for getting pregnant'". BBC. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Not a gap year but a lifetime. Katherine Makower. 2008. Apologia Publications, Eastbourne, UK.
  3. ^ Island of miracles. Leonard Sharp. 2nd Ed. Battley Brothers Limited, Queensgate Press, Clapham Park, SW4

External links[edit]