Buvuma District

Buvuma District
Buvuma District is a district in Central Uganda. The district is coterminous with the Buvuma Islands archipelago in Lake Victoria and does not have territory on mainland Uganda.

Buvuma District is bordered by Jinja District to the north, Mayuge District to the east, the Republic of Tanzania to the south, and Buikwe District to the west and northwest. Kitamilo, the district headquarters is located approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi), across water, south of the city of Jinja, the nearest large metropolitan area. The coordinates of the district are: 00 14N, 33 16E.

Buvuma District is made up of fifty-two scattered islands in the northern part of Lake Victoria. The largest island is called Buvuma, the name adopted by the new district, which was created by Act of Parliament in 2010.Administratively, the district is subdivided into four sub-counties:

  • Bugaya sub-county
  • Busamuzi sub-county
  • Bweema sub-county
  • Nairambi sub-county

The population of Buvuma District was estimated at approximately 42,500 by the 2002 national census. The district population in 2010 is estimated at about 30,000, suggesting net emigration from Buvuma to the mainland during the first decade of the 2000.

The four main activities in the district are:

  • Fishing
  • Tourism
  • Logging and
  • Manufacture of charcoal.

Subsistence agriculture is practiced by the inhabitants of the islands. The majority of the islanders depend a lot on fishing. Overfishing is a concern. The district has twenty-six (26) gazetted forest reserves, although many are threatened by unregulated logging and burning to make charcoal. Little livestock farming is practiced in the district, with the majority of livestock consumed locally in the district.

Buvuma Island, located in Lake Victoria, a few miles off the mainland, offers splendid beauty through its diverse fauna and flora. It has dense tropical forests with a range of rare bird, animal and plant species. The island has some uncommon and unspoiled sandy beaches. The island has good camping sites.
Although Buvuma is by far the biggest island in the Buvuma Island chain, there are actually 52 islands in all. The most important of which is Lingira Island. It is home to 1,500 people all crowded together versus the spread out population of Buvuma. Lingira also has a clinic which serves the surrounding islands and is the first line treatment for some 20,000 inhabitants of the islands. The clinic was started in 1991 by a German nurse (Ralph Richtsteiger) under an NGO, known as "Youth With A Mission" (YWAM). Although he has since left the islands the clinic is still in operation. They also do mobile child immunization and other community development work.