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Coordinates: 00°20′28″S 31°44′10″E / 0.34111°S 31.73611°E / -0.34111; 31.73611
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Masaka in 2014
Masaka in 2014
Masaka is located in Uganda
Location in Uganda
Coordinates: 00°20′28″S 31°44′10″E / 0.34111°S 31.73611°E / -0.34111; 31.73611
Country Uganda
RegionBuganda Region
DistrictMasaka District
1,288 m (4,226 ft)
 (2014 Census)
 • Total103,829[1]

Masaka is a district and a city in the Buganda Region in southern Uganda, west of Lake Victoria.[2] The city is the headquarters of Masaka District.[3]



Masaka is approximately 132 kilometres (82 mi) to the south-west of Kampala on the highway to Mbarara.[4] The city is close to the Equator. The coordinates of Masaka are 0°20'28.0"S, 31°44'10.0"E (Latitude:-0.341111; Longitude:31.736111).[5] Masaka lies at an average elevation of 1,288 metres (4,226 ft) above sea level.[6]



Masaka was founded as a township in 1953. It became a town council in 1958 and a municipality in 1968.[7]

Masaka was a strategically important location during the Uganda–Tanzania War (1978–79), and was accordingly garrisoned by Uganda Army troops. These soldiers terrorized the local civilians, prompting most to flee the town. On 23–24 February 1979, the Tanzania People's Defence Force and allied Ugandan rebels attacked the settlement, resulting in the Battle of Masaka. The town was bombarded with artillery, and fell to the Tanzanian-led forces after light resistance. The Tanzanians subsequently levelled much of the town to take revenge for atrocities committed by the Uganda Army during its previous invasion of northwestern Tanzania.[8]

In course of the Ugandan Bush War, Masaka again suffered from fighting. The town was garrisoned by the Uganda National Liberation Army which served as Uganda's national army at the time. In late 1985, National Resistance Army rebels laid siege to the town. After heavy combat, Masaka's garrison surrendered on 10 December 1985.[9]

In 2019 the Cabinet of Uganda, resolved to award Masaka, city status effective July 2023.[2][10] In November of the same year, Cabinet revised the date of city status to 1 July 2020.[11]

As of June 2021, the city of Masaka occupied a total area in excess of 100 square kilometres (25,000 acres). Masaka City Council, with assistance from the Central Ugandan government and the World Bank is in the process of implementing major road and street improvements, as part of the Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program. The city has a working budget of USh73 billion (approx. US$21 million), in the 2020/2021 financial year.[12]



According to the 2002 national census, the population of Masaka was about 67,800. In 2010, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 73,300. In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year population at 74,100.[13] In August 2014, the national population census put the population at 103,829.[1]

In 2020, UBOS estimated the mid-year population of Masaka City at 116,600 people. The population agency calculated the population growth rate of the town to average 2.11 percent, between 2014 and 2020.[14]

Historical population


Maize plantation in Masaka
Villa Maria Catholic parish in Masaka

In 2016, before the metropolis attained city status, Masaka occupied 58 square kilometres (22 sq mi). It was divided into three administrative divisions, (a) Katwe-Butego (b) Kimaanya-Kyabakuza and (c) Nyendo-Ssenyange. It is further subdivided into 54 zones.[7]

The annual Uganda Marathon event takes place in June, the race route loops twice through the town and the funds generated support local employment and community development.[citation needed]

Points of interest


The following points of interest are located in Masaka or close to its borders: (a) the offices of Masaka City Council (b) Masaka central market (c) the headquarters of the Mechanized Brigade of the Uganda People's Defense Force[15] (d) the main campus of Muteesa I Royal University[16] (d) Western Campus of Kampala University (e) St. Henry's College Kitovu.[17]

Other points of interest include (f) the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Masaka[18] (g) Lake Nabugabo, 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the east of downtown Masaka.[19] (h) Bukakkata, on the shores of Lake Victoria, about 36 kilometres (22 mi) east of Masaka.[20] (i) Masaka Regional Referral Hospital (j) Masaka Currency Center, a currency storage and processing facility owned and operated by the Bank of Uganda, Uganda's central bank.[21] (k) A branch of the National Social Security Fund.

Hamda Vocational and Social Institute


Hamda Vocational and Social Institute is a institute, Emirati women philanthropist Hamda Taryam was a well-known philanthropist in Masaka Uganda who initiated this charitable projects aims to qualify students professionally for the labour market. The foundation provides free training to orphan students, ensuring they qualify for the market, with proceeds going towards humanitarian and charitable projects sponsored by the Foundation[22][23][24]

Notable people


See also





  1. ^ a b UBOS (27 August 2014). "The Population of The Regions of the Republic of Uganda And All Cities And Towns of More Than 15,000 Inhabitants". Citypopulation.de Quoting Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b Franklin Draku (22 May 2019). "Cabinet Elevates 15 Municipalities To Cities". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  3. ^ Fields, Megan (December 2009). "Masaka: Big Shoes, Small Feet". Wordpress.com (Megan Fields Blog). Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ Google (28 April 2021). "Road Distance Between Kampala, Uganda And Masaka, Uganda" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  5. ^ Google (1 June 2019). "Location of Masaka City At Google Maps" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  6. ^ Floodmap (2018). "Elevation of Masaka, Uganda". Floodmap.net. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b Martins Ssekweyama (15 June 2016). "Masaka Town Expands To Get City Status". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  8. ^ Cooper & Fontanellaz 2015, pp. 30–31.
  9. ^ Cooper & Fontanellaz 2015, pp. 49–50.
  10. ^ Isa Aliga, and Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa (10 June 2019). "Kabaka Faults Government On Delayed Masaka City Status". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  11. ^ Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam (5 November 2019). "Cabinet Includes Masaka, Mbale Among New Cities To Be Operational In 2020". Kampala: SoftPower Uganda. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  12. ^ Wilson Kutamba (17 June 2021). "Masaka USMID roads construction starts". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Estimated Population of Masaka In 2002, 2010 & 2011" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  14. ^ a b Uganda Bureau of Statistics (14 June 2020). "Masaka Population Statistics" (Citypopulation.de Quoting Uganda Bureau of Statistics). Kampala: Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  15. ^ Google (1 June 2019). "Location of UPDF Mechanized Brigade Barracks" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  16. ^ Campus Times Reporter (15 January 2014). "Courses offered at Muteesa I Royal University". Kampala: Campus Times Uganda. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  17. ^ Google (1 June 2019). "Location of St. Henry's College Kitovu, Masaka, Uganda" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  18. ^ David M. Cheney (June 2019). "About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Masaka". Kansas City: Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  19. ^ Lake Nabugabo Terrace View Beach (2014). "Location of Lake Nabugabo". Lake Nabugabo Terrace View Beach. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  20. ^ Globefeed.com (1 June 2019). "Distance between Masaka, Uganda and Bukakata, Uganda". Globefeed.com. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Bank of Uganda Maintains A Currency Center In Masaka". Bank of Uganda. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Emirati racer dies: Sharjah Ruler grants Dh1 million for Hamda Taryam's unfinished charity projects".
  23. ^ "Sharjah ruler allocates Rs 2 cr to complete Hamda Taryam's charitable projects". 29 January 2024.
  24. ^ "Tributes pour in for young Emirati drag racer Hamda Taryam". 30 January 2024.

Works cited

  • Cooper, Tom; Fontanellaz, Adrien (2015). Wars and Insurgencies of Uganda 1971–1994. Solihull: Helion & Company Limited. ISBN 978-1-910294-55-0.

00°20′28″S 31°44′10″E / 0.34111°S 31.73611°E / -0.34111; 31.73611