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Mbarara City

Land of Milk
Mbarara at Sundown.jpg
Ebirungi Biruga Omutuutu (Good things come from sweat)
Mbarara City is located in Uganda
Mbarara City
Mbarara City
Location in Uganda
Coordinates: 00°36′48″S 30°39′30″E / 0.61333°S 30.65833°E / -0.61333; 30.65833
CountryFlag of Uganda.svg Uganda
RegionWestern Region
Sub-regionAnkole sub-region
DistrictMbarara District
 • MayorRobert Mugabe Kakyebezi [2]
4,860 ft (1,480 m)
 (2014 Census)[3]
 • Total195,013
Time zone+3 (East African Standard Time)

Mbarara City is a city in the Western Region of Uganda. It is the main municipal, administrative, and commercial centre of Mbarara District and the site of the district headquarters.[1][4]


Mbarara is an important transport hub, lying west of Masaka on the road to Kabale, near Lake Mburo National Park. This is about 270 kilometres (168 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda's capital and oldest city.[5] The coordinates of the Mbarara central business district are 00 36 48S, 30 39 30E (Latitude:-0.6132; Longitude:30.6582).[6] The city lies at an average elevation at about 1,147 metres (3,763 ft) above sea level.[7]


In 2002, the national census estimated the population of the town at 69,400. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 82,000 in 2010. In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year population at 83,700.[8] In August 2014, the national population census put the population at 195,013.[3]

Historical population


MBARARA GENESIS Early Travellers in Ankole and the Founding of Mbarara by an African, Asian and European Initiative. by David Weekes, (2014) ISBN 9780956550149 describes its founding in 1899 on an old royal site which had been abandoned.

Growth and expansion[edit]

Mbarara came from behind and developed to surpass Entebbe, Masaka, Gulu, and Jinja. As of 2014, Mbarara was the second-largest city in Uganda after Kampala and also second to Kampala in importance, industry, and infrastructure.[10]

Starting with 2000, modern buildings have been established including malls, arcades, plaza, and hotels. Modern hospitals have also been constructed including Mbarara Hospital, which is now a Regional Referral Hospital, Mbarara Community Hospital, a private hospital located in Kyamugorani, Kakiika Division,[11] and Mayanja Memorial Hospital, located in Nyamityobora Kakoba Division.[12]

City Status[edit]

In May 2019, the Uganda's cabinet granted Mbarara city status, which started on 1 July 2020.[1][4]


Mbarara is the home of Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST), founded in 1989.

With significance for all Ugandan cities, Mbarara was the host to the 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Uganda Local Governments Association on 1 October, which saw the changing of the organisation to its current structure in order to represent all Ugandan local governments. Mbarara remains an active member of this governmental association.[13]

Water supply[edit]

Due to a rapidly expanding population, the current water supply from nearby River Rwizi is insufficient to meet the future needs of Mbarara City.[14] The Ugandan government has borrowed €120 million to source water from the Kagera River purify it and pump it to Mbarara, Masaka and Isingiro District.[15][16]

Mbarara Bypass Road[edit]

As part of the modernisation of the Mbarara-Katuna Road (2011 - 2015), a new northern bypass road is planned for the town. The bypass will start from the Coca-Cola Plant on Mbarara-Masaka Road at Makenke, pass through Rwebishuri and Nkokonjeru and join the Mbarara-Kabale Road at Katatumba Resort, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of the central business district. The bypass is expected to decongest the city centre by taking the long-distance trucks destined for and coming from Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo off of Mbarara's city streets. The 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) road is expected to cost about €170 million (US$210 million), of which the European Union is expected to lend about €122 million (US$153 million) with the government funding the balance from its own resources.[17]

Points of interest[edit]

The following additional points of interest lie within the city limits or close to its edges:



Social services[edit]



  • Mbarara Airport - A public airport, located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), by road northwest of town, along Mbarara-Ibanda highway.
  • Mbarara Northern Bypass Road - A 14 kilometres (9 mi) bypass road, circling the northern half of the city. Constructed between March 2015 and June 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ampurire, Paul (22 May 2019). "Cabinet Approves Phased Creation Of Nine New Cities Beginning 2020". Kampala: SoftPower Uganda. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  2. ^ Adolf Ayoreka (13 July 2018). "Mbarara Mayor Involved In Accident, One Dead". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  3. ^ 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". Quoting Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b Uganda Radio Network (21 May 2019). "Cabinet approves creation of nine cities". Daily Monitor Quoting Uganda Radio Network. Kampala. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  5. ^ Google (9 March 2021). "Road Distance between Kampala, Uganda and Mbarara, Uganda" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. ^ Google (1 July 2015). "Location of Mbarara at Google Maps" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. ^ Floodmap (2019). "Elevation of Mbarara, Uganda". Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Estimated Population of Mbarara Town In 2002, 2010 & 2011" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  9. ^ Uganda Bureau of Statistics (14 June 2020). "Mbarara Population Statistics" ( Quoting Uganda Bureau of Statistics). Kampala: Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  10. ^ Pelican Hotel (12 August 2014). "Why Mbarara: Features About Mbarara City". Mbarara: Pelican Hotel Mbarara. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 4 April 2015) on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  11. ^ Bifubyeka, Ebenezer (4 April 2004). "Mbarara Gets A 2 Billion Hospital". New Vision via Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  12. ^ Simon Mugenyi (30 March 2004). "Mbarara Gets Sh5 Billion Hospital". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  13. ^ "About ULGA". Uganda Local Governments Association(ULGA). Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  14. ^ Monitor Team (29 March 2019). "How are 9 municipalities prepared for city status?". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  15. ^ Jean Marie Takouleu (6 February 2019). "Uganda: AFD invests €270 million in two water and sanitation projects". Paris, France: Afrik21. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  16. ^ SoftPower Reporter (6 November 2018). "Government To Borrow Over One Trillion For Water Sanitation Projects". Kampala: SoftPower Uganda. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  17. ^ Aidah Nanyonjo (26 May 2010). "Mbarara Gets Sh459 Billion Bypass". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Nile Breweries Limited – Making a difference through beer". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  19. ^ "Soft Drinks, Soda | Coca-Cola Uganda". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  20. ^ Vision, Reporter (24 September 2012). "China To Build US$100 Million Steel Plant In Mbarara". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  21. ^ Fred Turyakira (28 December 2010). "Private Hospitals Urged To Implement Government Programmes". New Vision. Kampala. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 20 January 2015) on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  22. ^ Mayanja Memorial Hospital Foundation (2014). "About Mayanja Memorial Hospital". Mbarara: Mayanja Memorial Hospital Foundation. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 17 October 2014) on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  23. ^ "About Uganda Bible Institute". Uganda Bible Institute. Archived from the original on 10 June 2004. Retrieved 21 April 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 00°36′48″S 30°39′30″E / 0.61333°S 30.65833°E / -0.61333; 30.65833