Kapchorwa shares borders with the districts of Mbale in the west and south, Nakapiripirit in the north and the Republic of Kenya in the east and south. It covers an area of 1,738 sq km. The main languages spoken in the district are Kupsabiny, Lumasaba, Kiswahili and English.
The district is characterized by the Mt. Elgon rainfall zone which is a westward extension of the conditions prevailing on the plateau and mountains of neighboring Kenya. The district’s climate is also affected by altitude.
There are two wet seasons in the district and their duration varies from area to area depending on the altitude and topography. The annual rainfall ranges between 920mm to 1,650mm. Areas in the north tend to have drier and sometimes erratic conditions while it is wetter in the south-western areas.
Kapchorwa district has one hospital (Kapchorwa Hospital has a total of 64 beds), 27 health units, two health centers grade IV, 11 health centers grade III and 17 health centre grade II. The district has 598 villages, therefore it is still very under-developed in terms of health unit coverage.
According to the district health inspector Mr Ekau Oluga, malaria remains top in the district disease burden. Others are respiratory tract infections, intestinal worms, malnutrition, eye diseases, trauma, ear diseases, diarrhea and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.
With the population of 193,000 people, housing is improving year by year from grass thatched houses to corrugated iron sheets. The housing coverage is at 50%.
The improvement of housing has been attributed to the improvement on feeder roads. People are now building along feeder roads and many are securing plots along the main roads.
Agriculture is the main economic activity with emphasis on food crops like maize, wheat, beans, sunflower, groundnuts, yams, peas, Irish potatoes and finger millet. The cash crops include cotton, coffee and wheat. There are also vegetables like tomatoes, onions, cabbages as well as passion fruit.
Land shortage, however, makes it hard to open large-scale commercial farms in most parts of Kapchorwa. Further, the mountainous terrain makes agricultural mechanization harder.
Live stock farming is another economic activity with Cattle population of 64,738, 73,493 Goats, and 39,534 Sheep.
TOURISM POTENTIAL IN KAPCHORWA
Sipi water falls still stands as the main tourist attraction in the district besides at geographical attractions like its mountainous landscape that makes Kapchorwa a Switzerland of Uganda.
Sipi water falls, scenery beyond reproach. Kapchorwa is endowed with numerous streams rising out of Mount Elgon. It also has the Mise cave where early man used to stay.
Kapchorwa is linked to the rest of the country by road. There is ample electricity to support industrial development. The district has a hospital and 25 health units.
Author: Sandra Nans