Bukomansimbi is a new district recently curved out of Masaka District.
It borders Kalungu District to the east, Lwengo to the south-west, and Masaka District to the south-east. Two major roads go through the district, one from Masaka to Matete in Sembabule District and another from Masaka to Sembabule Town. The roads are not tarmac but they are the lifeline of commerce and transport for the district’s other economic activities which are mainly centered on farming. The district is a major producer of coffee, dairy products and bananas.
Bukomansimbi Town Council, one of the young district’s, small urban centres, is the district headquarters. Quite unique to the district, is that it is also a single constituency or county comprising of the sub-counties of Bigasa, Kitanda, Butenga and Kibinge. With about 120 polling stations Bukomansimbi is said to be the largest rural constituency in the country.
The economyThe district’s major sources of revenue are trade licences and property tax which contribute to only 2 per cent of the budget, according to district chairman Hajj Muhammad Kateregga. Only about 10 per cent of the population has electricity in their homes while 78 per cent may be said to have access to safe water (from boreholes and protected spring wells).
Residents decry poor health services
Residents in Bukomansimbi District have protested the poor health care services at Butenga Health Centre IV.
Scores of patients and attendants at the health centre complained of non-availability of doctors, lack of drugs, inadequate lodging and poor sanitation.
The district has only one health centre IV which serves the total population of about 154,000 but the unit is incapacitated with lack of health workers and poor health care services. The health centre is overwhelmed with patients and a visit from this newspaper found some mothers lying in the compound while some other patients were found sleeping on torn mattresses.
The in-charge of Butenga Health Centre IV, Dr Alfred Tumusiime, said the centre was neglected with no residential doctors who could carry out operations and monitor patients.
He said the infrastructure was lacking and dilapidated with patients sleeping on the floor due to lack of beds.He said they receive a monthly average of 300 out-patients, 200 in-patients and about 55 maternal patients at the health centre despite the inadequate health facilities.
Most cases, patients are referred to Masaka hospital because the district has only two senior doctors while other health workers come to the health centre once in a while due to lack of accommodation.
East African Legislative Assembly representative Fred Mukasa Mbidde and Bukomansimbi Woman MP Suzan Namaganda paid a visit to the health centre last week and calmed the patients.
They donated 30 hospital mattresses to the health unit in an effort to improve on the health services in the district after the government delayed to offer support.
Mr Mbidde said many doctors and nurses have lost morale due to poor pay and that is why patients do not get adequate health services.
DP dominanceThe birth place of Uganda’s first prime minister and first African Chief Justice, Benedicto Kiwanuka (pictured), Bukomansimbi is predominantly inclined to the opposition politically. Woman MP Suzan Namaganda belongs to the DP, as does the area MP, Mr Deo Kiyingi. The district chairman, Mr Mohammed Kateregga belongs to JEEMA while most of the councillors are DP.
opulationAccording to, Hajj Muhammad Kateregga, the district population is estimated to be 300,000 and the number of households to be about 30,000.
Butenga Health Centre IV is the biggest health facility and it has Health Centre IIIs and IIs in the sub-counties of Kitanda Bigasa and Kibinge. According to the district health officer, Dr Julius Amumpe, only about 50 per cent of the people in the district have easy access to medical care (live within five kms from a health facility).
Water crisis in BukomansimbiBukomansimbi District has on several occassions been reported to be hit by water shortage resulting into long journeys by residents to get water. This has resulted in the residents getting water at a cost of between Shs800 – Shs1,000 per jerrycan.