Kaberamaido is one of the new districts in Uganda formed by an act of parliament in July 2001.It covers an approximate total area of 1646 sq Km and lies at an approximate altitude between 1000m-1500m above sea level. It receives an annual rainfall between 1200-2000m with an average maximum temperature of 33.6 degrees centigrade.
There are two rain seasons every year coming between April-June and August-November.
Before, in 1970, Kaberamaido had been granted a sub-district status in 1970, by the then president, Idi Amin. But some elders in the area rejected the offer and chose to stay under the mother district (Soroti)
But later, they realized the development importance and advantages of a district status to their area and in July 2001, it was granted by the government of Uganda.
The district is bordered by; Lira in the west, Katakwi district in the north- east, Soroti to east and shares part of the water of Lake Kyoga to the south.
Kaberamaido district is one of the districts with the fast growing population in the country. It has a projected population of 133,186 of which 51.5 per cent are female and 48.5 per cent are male.
The district is basically rural with 99 people per Sq km of land and has many up-coming trading centres scattered all over the district.
The majority of the residents are Kumam speaking flock constituting 65% of the total district population and Ateso.
There are also other small groups of people from different ethnic backgrounds like the Acholi, Lugbara, and lango in Lira.
Communication is among the major factors the district has tried to improve. Although the district has not yet been connected with to the national grid, there are many plans set to improve the sector.
At the moment the main source of energy for lighting is fire wood and solar power. However, there are high hopes that under the government Rural Electricity Program, the district will be connected.
Also there are ongoing pans by the major telephone companies to connect the district the modern telecommunication network.
Already, MTN and UTL have started to develop the necessary infrastructures aimed at extending there services in the district.
The district however, has an excellent all terrain marrum road network. It can also be accessed by air transport at Soroti air training school via Soroti district to Katene-kalaki and Bululu.
The district however, has a potential for water transport owing to the navigability of Lake Kyoga that borders much of the district to the south. In the 1960’s and 1970s, water transport thrived and enabled booming trade with Busoga and Buganda Administration.
The lake also provides a great opportunity for tourism, spot canoeing and fishing.
The district has received improved and increased number of primary school enrollment especially in primary schools. Year 2001 figures indicated that Primary school enrollment in the district is at 43,835 pupils.
Much emphasis has been put on education of the girl child and improvement of the basic subjects like Mathematics and English language.
The district has 78 government-aided primary schools, 8 community primary schools and 3 nursery schools.
It also has 5 government-aided secondary schools and nine privately owned secondary schools.
All the 8 sub-counties have at least a secondary school with the exception of Kobulubulu sub-county that has only a technical institute.
Achievements have been realized in construction of more classrooms using the School Facilitation Gants (SFG) and Local Government Development Program (LGDP)
By 2001, 482 classrooms had been built and accommodated 43,835 pupils. Formerly, the situation was bad and most schools operated under tree shades.
Also 1458 desks were distributed to primary schools and 81 classrooms are under construction.
Other achievements were realized in the improvement of water and sanitation in most schools.
But Education still faces shortage of teachers particularly in remote schools, accommodation for staff members and inadequate learning aids.
There is also the challenge of the future education of the UPE products. The government Universal Secondary Education (USE) is yet to come and the district is facing high levels of school drop out.
Kaberamaido district does not have a government hospital, but has five government aided mini-hospitals located at Kaberamaido, Otuboi, Bululu, Kobulubulu and Alwa.
These mini-hospitals have minor surgical theatres, laboratories, resident medical officers.
The district faces many challenges in the health sector but it has hopes to improve by strategically constructing 10 more health centres at parishes.
It also intends to recruit 30 health workers to strengthen the human resource in the sector.
The people of Kaberamaido are basically peasant farmers. The district still uses rudimentary methods of farming in production.
They use animal traction (oxen) to plough the land while hand hoe is the basic tool for cultivation.
The district is among the largest producer of cassava, sorghum, millet, potatoes, maize, Rice, simsim, beans citrus and groundnuts.
Most of these products find their markets in the neighboring districts and sometimes in the capital city (Kampala).
Author: Sandra Nans