Local tourism is one important undertaking that Ugandans could take advantage of. It would not be about wasting time as some people might say, but something that comes with a lot of amusements, lessons and amazements or a kind of craziness.

However, very many Ugandans leave the country without having traveled much of it. Yet, interestingly, claim having knowledge of United Kingdom, Washington and sometimes, just Kampala, and never about northern, western or far eastern Uganda.

Kityerera is one other place in Uganda that on the face-value could strikingly want to mean “an area covered by mud, and that is all about sliding as one makes his or her way.” By that statement, it would take one a while contemplating whether to travel there. A decision to go there could perhaps come from a courageous person.

It is, actually, a place deep in Mayuge District with a population of over one hundred thousand (100,000), whose creation helped reduce the size of Iganga -once known to be most populated district in Uganda.

It houses the South East Busoga forest reserve -a battle area for encroachers and workers charged with re-planting trees. Battles can sometimes be severe -registering scores of the injured.

Also, according to one elderly resident in Bugadde, the reserve was once a habitant and feeding grounds for hippopotamuses and buffalos. After their extinction, locals resorted to destruction of natural forests.

Forest battles rage on. The question then would be: why do encroachers have to fight heartily for the forest-land? The interesting answer to this question, according to one forest official is that settlers are run-away criminals, who ran way from various regions of the country, and, as far as Kenya to escape justice.

On the other hand, the most vivid explanation for the hardliner approach by encroachers is the fact that from its rich forest soils they harvest heavily, and earn a lot of money through farming, and illegal sale of pieces of forest land to new encroachers.

As a result, many have bought land, build houses and equally (men and women) married multiple partners. For prosperous women as much as men, economically struggling potential sex partners could always go for them. Having achieved all that encroachers are capable of taking on anything to resist and stick-on and even grab more.

Interestingly, encroachers have own administrative systems led by the chief encroacher or aggressor of forest workers. He, along with his assistants constantly plan attacks and organize rebellions against any plans to replant trees or resettle them. To note is that the forest workers represent government at the reserve, and are mandated to work tirelessly to re-afforestate the area such that it regains its vitality as a forest.

Some of its busiest towns are Bugadde and Bwonda that command numerous commercial activities including; fish trading, food crops and food vending and textiles trading. The main food crops notable are; maize, millet, rice, jack-fruits and tomatoes.

The food crops are produced for local market and export, with much of it destined for Juba (Southern Sudan).

The prices at the local market equal Kampala’s. Come hydro-power: the towns, being surrounded by islands, with a shorter distance to Kenya (by water), are headed for rapid development in the near future.

Despite of the fact the people work very hard for a living, and with such a fast growing area, Kityerera, unfortunately, does not have hydro-electric power, has the worst net-work coverage of both MTN and Celtel or Zain, while for Mango, its (net-work coverage) is so miserable that one might throw away the card as he or she enters Kityerera.

Comparing it with some suburbs of Kampala and Mukono, it is hard to forgive whoever is concerned about electricity distribution. The trading centers in Kityerera are more developed than most suburbs in Kampala or Mukono. For instance; Bugadde or Bwonda are better than Mbalala (with electricity) development-wise, yet they do not have hydro-power.

Girl education in primary schools is very impressive. The numbers of girls in existing primary schools are close to doubling that of boys. The boys sooner than later sense the goodness of money, which in turn compels them to drop out of school in favour of farming, brick-making and boda-boda transport business.

With some money in the pocket, the next item in their plan would be to marry, have children, experience the family head-ship as fathers back home, and most likely, marry several other women or men, accordingly.

Besides, there is evidence that after primary level, they hardly look forward to furthering their studies. The area, well, has more of primary schools than secondary schools. For the existing ones (secondary schools), they are only a recent creation.

So, as if it were a tradition, primary seven (7) tended to be the highest level for girls as much as boys. Consquently, the mainly girls very soon face the challenge of cross-generational sex and prostitution for economic security.

Reliable sources in the area put the numbers of pregnant teenagers between the ages of sixteen to eighteen (16-18) years at over thirty (30), as recorded in a single month. And they in many cases become second, third, and fourth wives to older men.

Even with one wife chance initially, the probability of her getting a second and third co-wife is, still, very high. In this part of the world hardly will you find young girls in the above age bracket either unmarried or without one to two children under their care. Indeed, whoever wishes to enjoy marriage life here must either come along with a wife or risk becoming a step parent, and second or third partner.

According to Mzee Abdul-khadir Bazalaaki, one of the proprietors of a private secondary school, who helped set up a prominent public secondary school (Bunya Secondary School) and extending water supply in the area, as well, community members do not value education. And that a lot needs to be done to compel stubborn parents here take their children to school.

Unlike Kampala, here, instead of street children, the towns have street goats that run and move all around day and night in groups like some sort of antelops. They look healthy with fat bellies. It is, however, surprising that the animals have owners who easily identify them from within groupings.

Kityerera towns, like Kampala, have a mixture of tribes from various areas that come to participate in the lucrative trade and make life possible. They include; Basamia, Bateso, Bagisu, badama, a smaller number of Banyakole, and of coarse the Basoga.

And they are predominantly Moslems that have sections of Shias and Sunnis. Looking at the history of Christianity or the reformation, Shias would take the position of the Protestants, while the Sunni take that of Catholics (as told by Mzee Abdul-Khadir)

The development of the area has not left out prostitution as key to it, though silent economic activity. Prostitutes here, unlike their Kampala counter-parts respect traditions of kneeling while greeting their clients, and wearing long dresses. With such courtesy men feel encouraged and find ladies very generous.

A week of one’s visit may not be enough to help identify them, unless inquiries are made about their location. They tend to be; bar and lodge attendants or owning and working in local food joints. Their clients are mainly traders (hawkers), small and big truck drivers, and boda-boda transporters.

Prostitution, as a global trend, does not surprise anyone deep in Kityerera. But, the only puzzle, perhaps, is the ability of women to have more than four pseudo-marriages whilst basing from the home of a traveling “husband”. Actually, of the four, whoever travels misses out. The loneliness due to business trips, near and far, could be held responsible for such mess.

It is normal to find a partner (from both men and women) with a history of three to four husbands before the present relationship, while across them, are children either left to grow under the care of grand parents or brought up by one or none as biological parents.

Wherever it came from: it is widely believed and a matter of public knowledge that Basoga are extra-ordinarily sexually active. People from north, western or central will tell you the same. After debating for long against the famous assertion that Basoga are sex maniacs, the verdict showed up in this part of Busoga. Could the Moslem background have dictated so having not witnessed the same in Jinja, where they (Moslems) are not as many?

To some, the situation might be appalling, with a lot of urgency needed. But, much as aggressive sensitization of people here -on reproductive health is very necessary, and something that must be on-going over six to twelve years, condom accessibility must be guaranteed. People here say, there have no access to condoms, yet for sure they play sex. How safe are they?

There is zero-tolerance to crime in the area. Crimes committed include; adultery, chicken theft, shop breaks, idle and disorderliness, fighting, land disputes, and defilement. Local sources say, defilement is highest in Mayuge.

As part of crime prevention, local authorities recently passed stringent bye-laws that bar community members from roaming around at night beyond ten (10pm), from abusing drugs, irresponsible drinking as well as being found idle and disorderly. It became extreme when mere going out to bath or for a short-call could earn one an arrest. This, believably, must have adversely affected lodges and bars.

Solar energy, which would be a close alternative to hydro-electricity, is instead used pettily for phone charging. Generators, on one hand, are mostly used in barber shops and cinemas.

But solar panels could be acquired communally with good organization from the local leadership, where a section of houses of about twenty (20) or fifty (50) pool resources and acquire a strong panel good enough for lighting and application of other electric accessories. Strategic groupings, associations and cooperatives, too, could take on this opportunity rather than wait for years to see hydro-power.

A lot of emphasis, also, needs to be placed on secondary education, supporting new private schools with face-lifts, and helping to establish more secondary schools.

And, aggressive reproductive health programmes need to take root in this area as must be the flooding of condoms there, as well as having the ability to demonstrate and encourage their proper use.

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