Buvuma main island is slowly turning into an economic hub as a result of the numerous developmental programs introduced by President Yoweri Museveni’s government in the district.
The district made up of 52 habitable islands interspersed in the northern part of Lake Victoria and created by the act of parliament on July 1, 2010 has started showing exceptional transformation.
Mainly the transformation turned expeditious with the introduction of palm oil growing that largely created rush for land by city dwellers planning to build accommodation and tourism facilities as the case in Kalangala district.
About two years ago, the district became more accessible after government securing a new modern ferry connecting from Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe district to Kirongo with the capacity of carrying over 20 vehicles and 200 passengers.
Likewise, accessibility to any of the islands from Buvuma main is easier using engine boats and the livelihoods of the islanders are much better today than the district became autonomous.
Juma Kigongo, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner says due to the development exertions government is extending to Buvuma, the district will be ranked among the richest and stable places in the country in the next 10 years.
In 2016, the ruling Government, through the National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto (2016-2021), stated its aspirations in transforming the Ugandan society from a low-income society to a competitive middle-income country.
According to Kigongo, in the same year (2016), government through the able leadership of President Museveni and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development conceptualized palm tree growing in Buvuma as part of the Vegetable Oil Development Project-VODP to address rural poverty by involving smallholder farmers in vegetable oil crops production.
The project that kick started in the district is now under National Oil Palm Project which transformed from VODP that signed an agreement with Buvuma Oil Palm Uganda Limited a subsidiary of BIDCO to carryout planting on a large estate of about 7000 hectares and smallholder farmers on 3000 hectares.
“It is the first of kind in Buvuma district, but the pilot study was done way back in Kalangala district and the communities there are not left the same, they are able to educate their children, built good houses but above all area development. Tarmac on islands, here in Uganda. Buvuma is not only set in the path for the better but already going. As the security team, it is our mandate work with the government to continue ensuring stability in the area so as to attract more investment,” Kigongo notes.
Jeremiah Kiweewa, a resident at Buvuma says the project has already taught them land use. According to him, the ten acres of land owned at Busamuzi where all idle but now sold three to NOPP, planted palm oil in the five and the two dedicated to food production.
“I am grateful to President Yoweri Museveni for oil palm growing in the district but also grateful to the Deputy RDC Kigongo and the district technical team guiding residents and managing conflict raised as result of land acquisition. We had got lost in the middle of nowhere but now set to a pass of prosperity.” Kiweewa says.
Currently, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements are yearned for as the case in Kalangala district to continue uplifting the infrastructure, health and education services as well as complementing the palm-growing project, and to uplift lives of the islanders.
The Deputy District Chief Administrative Officer Ismael Kabonge asserts that the government has played a great role in expanding its budget as well as setting up special grants to improve the social welfare of islanders.
Through such support, the district has managed setting up marram roads connecting to every sub county at the main island. Improving the health services through building several health units such Kitamiro Health Center IV, Lwajje, Busamuzi, Bugaya, Namatale and Bwena health centers.
“When it comes to the education sector, the government has supported construction of four government seed schools now which have boarding sections to help children crossing from distant islands also access services. Several other developmental programs such as YLP, emyoga have been tapped into and greatly changed lives for the islanders,”Kabonge says.
The community is pleased with the water project at Bwema sub county likely provide tap water to over ten villages and appeal for electricity to easy work. Currently the district mainly depends on solar powered energy.
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