History of the Diocese
On November 13, 2016, Central Busoga Diocese (CEBUD) became the 36th independent Diocese of the Church of Uganda with the Rt. Rev Patrick Wakula as its first Bishop. The new Diocese had been part of Busoga Diocese since 1972. Although Bishop James Hannington was killed in the Busoga sub-region in October 1885 while on his way to Buganda, it was not until February1891 that the first white Anglican Church Missionary Society missionaries set out from Buganda to Busoga to start missionary work in the sub-region. They set up their first station near a chiefâ€™s palace, Wakoli, in the current Bugiri district. However, it was three years later in 1894 that they started their missionary activities in the current CEBUD. This is when they set up their first station at Nasuti (located in current Iganga District) near the headquarters of a local Chief of Kigulu. It was then planned that it would be from this station at Nasuti that missionary work would spread out in central and north Busoga with assistance of Baganda Missionaries. By 1915 the Missionaries had spread their work into all the current four districts that make up CEBUD. The early church in the Busoga sub-region was part of the Diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa until 1897 when administratively it was placed under the newly created Diocese of Uganda. The missionaries once fully settled in, were to build many churches, schools and some health units on land generously provided to them by the local chiefs and people of Busoga. These new missionary stations were to be often located near capitals of the local chiefs or at nearby emerging trading centers. Hence some of the oldest schools and churches are now to be found at Nasuti, Iganga (later to be called Iganga CMS after missionaries who relocated their Busoga headquarters to Iganga), Namutumba, Kiyunga and Kaliro towns. In 1960 the church in the Busoga sub-region was made part of a new Diocese, that of Namirembe, until 1972 when Busoga Diocese was created.
Whereas up to 1972 the Anglican Church in Busoga had been mainly involved in spreading the gospel, constructing church buildings and providing critical social services (education and health), Busoga Diocese, under the leadership of its first Bishop, Cyprian Bamwoze, initiated the Multi- Sectoral Rural Development Â Programme (MSRDP) to propel community development in the Diocese. A number development projects under the MSRDP that were implemented included provision of safe water to communities, child survival and general family health services, income generating activities (animal and crop husbandry), as well as youth and women skills training. It is on the above foundation laid by the early missionaries and Busoga Diocese that the new Diocese of Central Busoga seeks to build on, putting more emphasis in the areas of Mission, Social-Economic Transformation and Institutional Capacity Development. It is planned that the result will not only be an increase in church membership, improved quality of peoples â€™ lives but also the number of people accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior will keep on growing.
The districts of Iganga, Luuka, Namutumba and Kaliro that constitute the CEBUD have a total population of 1,230,978 (Table 5, below). The population consists of more female (51.46%) than male (48.54%), and the number of children below 18 years of age constitutes a staggering 58.6% of the total population. It should also be noted that the population is overwhelmingly rural (88.76%) and that the population density is very high, particularly in the districts of Iganga and Luuka, exceeding the national population density of 173 per square kilometer.
Table 5: CEBUD Population
|Districts||Male||Female||Rural||Urban||Total||Children below 18yrs||% Children below 18 yrs.||Popln density /sq.km|
Source: UBOS Census 2014 As children now constitute by far largest segment of the population, an opportunity to reach out to them and increase the numbers of active members of the Anglican faith, is therefore presenting itself to the Church.
Population by Religion
The relative strength of various faiths in the Diocese is shown in Table 6, below. The Anglican Church has the largest number of members while the Muslim faith is in the second place. The Anglican population is highest in the district of Iganga and lowest in the district of Luuka.
Table 6: CEBUD Population by Religious Affiliation
Source: UBOS 2014 Census. Please note: The total population in Table2, and 3, slightly varies by 6,794
During the colonial era, a need for security, population and economic growth as well as Christian missionary activities led to a number of people to migrate to urban and peri-urban areas in the districts of Iganga, Luuka, Kaliro and Namutumba.
From 1920 to the early 1970s, most of the towns in the Busoga Sub-region gained economic importance due to cotton production, development of road infrastructure and the completion of the Uganda Railway. The main road and the railway from Mombasa in Kenya passed and still pass through the current Diocese. Among the new comers were Asian families. Farmers were assured of markets in the towns, grew cash and food crops such as cotton, coffee, bananas, groundnuts, potatoes, cassava, fruits and vegetables. The growersâ€™ cooperatives that existed at that time were responsible for purchasing, marketing and in some cases processing cash crops (such as cotton, coffee and groundnuts). In competition with the cooperative movement were private businessmen most of whom were of Asian origin. However, with the collapse of the economy in the late 1970s most of the people descended into poverty. Families in the Diocese now depend on subsistence farming with few incidences of commercialized farming, trade and commerce. In Namutumba and Kaliro, for example, most of the people grow rice, groundnuts, sorghum, millet and cassava for mainly subsistence and little for commercial purposes. In Luuka and Iganga the most widely grown crops are: coffee, potatoes, cassava, bananas, maize, beans, millet, and sugar cane. In addition, a number of families in Luuka, Kaliro and Namutumba keep animals (cattle, goats and pigs) for subsistence and few for economic gain.
Employment including youth unemployment: Unemployment is one of the major challenges in Uganda and Central
Busoga Region. According to the 2014 population census data 23% of persons aged 15 and above in the Central Busoga Region were unemployed as they had not engaged in any economic activity over the seven days preceding the census. However, the census also revealed that 39% of children 4 to 17 years were engaged in child labour. Engaging school age going children in child labour diverts them from school, promoting school dropouts, poor academic performance and is strongly associated with the current youth unemployment and poverty in the region.
Natural Resources CEBUD comprises mainly the Southern Busoga zone with the climate and vegetation influenced by Lake Victoria, where the average rainfall is 1520mm a year. This heavy rainfall produces a luxuriant growth of vegetation including many indigenous tropical trees such as Mvule. In contrast to the northern Busoga zone, where parts of Luuka and Kaliro district falls, is generally flat and the land drops to Lake Kyoga. The lake affects the climate and vegetation in that area. Around the basin of Lake Kyoga, the grass is short and papyrus swamps are dominant around the lake shores.
In an area with an annual rainfall of 1000mm, the natural vegetation is mainly savanna interspersed with deciduous trees The Diocese is blessed with about 3500 square km of land suitable for a variety of tropical crop and animal farming in its southern and northern parts, respectively. Furthermore, the numerous perennial and seasonal rivers in the Diocese not only provide water to humans and animals but many of their beds are used for rice growing. There are also hills such as Mawembe and Nhyenda that are suitable for development of tourism industry. However, the high population growth in the Diocese has contributed to serious environmental degradation in many areas characterized by land fragmentation which does not allow crop rotation and bush fallowing thereby leading to soil infertility and low productivity. Many peasant farmers have also uncontrollably encroached on and degraded wetlands for rice and sugarcane growing.Rampart charcoal burning, uncontrolled timber cutting, bush fires and construction have also severely degraded the environment leaving the soil in many places infertile and hence of low productivity
Social Services (Education and Health) Education Most of the primary schools in the Diocese were founded in early 20th century by Anglican missionaries. Until 1963 when the Uganda government took over the running of these schools, they were administered by the Church Missionary Society officials on behalf of the Church, called Native Anglican Church. Other faiths that also founded their own primary schools included Catholics and Muslims. Since 1963 many other primary schools have been established by the government and individuals.
Whereas over the early years the quality of education in the missionary and public primary schools was good, the quality of performance in national examinations of recent has been deteriorating. Some of the factors adversely affecting the quality of education in the Diocese include: poor physical classroom and science laboratory infrastructure, inadequate supply of text books and science equipment, poor school supervision by the local authorities, poor quality of teaching, teacher absenteeism, poor attitudes towards education by many parents, no lunch for pupils, and corruption in the Education Sector. As per the government official ranking of performance by districts in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in 2016, out of the 112 districts in Uganda, all the four districts of Namutumba, Iganga, Kaliro and Luuka were among the last ten. Central Busoga Region PLE performance index was 44.2%, which is lower than the national average of 57%. Health Whenever people are healthy they are able not only to contribute to their community and national development, but also are in position to effectively participate in activities that are geared towards building a Â wider and stronger
church wherever they are. Right from the beginning when the Christian missionaries came to Busoga they not only provided education to children but also established some health units to treat the sick. The main focus of the public and private health units in Uganda is and has been to mainly treat patients and only of late to prevent diseases.
The leading causes of morbidity and death in all the four districts of the Diocese are: malaria, respiratory diseases (ARIs), HIV/AIDS, diarrhea diseases, TB and anemia, intestinal worms, trauma, dental diseases, eye infections, skin diseases – almost all preventable diseases. The provision of health services by government in the four districts that make up the Diocese is adversely affected by, among others, limited funding, inadequate emphasis on disease prevention programmes, poor attitude of health workers, inadequate trained health staff and supplies (especially essential drugs), inadequate health sector transport, limited access to safe water within walking distance, inadequate and poor health facilities (infrastructure).
Health services facilities
The four districts have a total of 141 health facilities of which 100 (70.9%) were government owned, 40 (28.3%) are owned by non-government organizations (NGOs) and only 01 (0.7%) privately owned. There are significant variations in the population served per health facilities in the different districts with Namutumba having the lowest at 7,236 and the highest number of 11,282 in Kaliro district. Overall the average population served per health facility is 9,006 far above the national average of 6,664. The Sub-counties without a Health Center III are: Luuka Town council and Bulongo sub-county in Luuka district; Bukamba, Nansololo, Kasokwe, Budomero and Kisinda sub-counties in Kaliro district; Namutumba TC, Mazuba, Nangode and Nabweyo sub-counties in Namutumba district.
LOCATION AND SIZE OF THE DIOCESE
The CEBUD is in the Busoga sub-region of Eastern Uganda. The latter sub-region is bounded by Lake Kyoga to the north, the Victoria Nile to the west, the Mpologoma River to the east and Lake Victoria to the south.
The Diocese geographically covers an area of 3,545.4 square kilometers and comprises of four government districts of Iganga, Luuka (Kiyunga), Kaliro and Namutumba. In the west it is bordered by Jinja and Kamuli districts; in the north by Buyende and Pallisa districts; in the east by Kibuku, Butaleja and Bugiri districts; and in the south by Mayuge district (see Map, below).