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From UgandaWiki, the Uganda online encyclopedia.

Size (sq. km) 169
Population 1,208,544
Language(s) English, Luganda, Kiswahili
District Special status
Phone Networks MTN, UTL, Celtel
Landline code 041
Emergency numbers 999 (fixed phone) 112 (mobile)
Mayor Nasser Ntege Sebaggala
Website http://www.kcc.go.ug

Kampala city is the commercial and administrative capital of Uganda. It was the only city with district status until 2005 when it was accorded, through a constitutional amendment, special status as the capital of the country. It lies on a plateau, spread over more than twenty rolling hills. It is a city of contrasts, ranging from the modern, colonial and Indian buildings in the centre, to the scenic, ever-green hills and wetlands in outlying areas, to the mighty Lake Victoria to the South.


[edit] Geography

Kampala in located in central Uganda, on the northern shores of Lake Victoria. It is bordered by Wakiso District to the North, East, West and South–West and Lake Victoria to the South East. It is 169 sq.km in size. With an altitude of 1190m above sea level, Kampala has a pleasant weather, with annual temperatures averaging 17 degrees (minimum) and 21 degrees (maximum) Celsius. It has a population of 1.2 million people (Uganda's population is estimated at 29.8 million).[1]

The city's geographic coordinates are 0 degrees and 19 minutes north of the Equator and 32 degrees and 35 minutes east of Greenwich.

[edit] History

Johnstone Street, Kampala, 1949
Johnstone Street, Kampala, 1949

The history of Kampala, like that of many other cities in the world, derives from both folklore and historical fact. According to folklore, much of the area where present-day Kampala stands was dominated by wetlands and rolling hills. This made it an ideal habitat for the Impala and other members of the antelope family. They grazed on the slopes of the hills and came down to the wetlands for water.

The palace of the Kabaka (king) of Buganda, located on Mengo Hill, overlooked this landscape rich in Impala. He turned it into his hunting grounds. Folklore merged with history when the British Empire builders arrived towards the end of the 19th century. "Impala" was the English name for that particular antelope family. So the British referred to the area as the "hill of the Impala".

The Baganda, eager to adopt foreign words into the local language, translated "hill of the Impala" into Luganda as "kasozi k'Impala" (pronounced "ka Impala" and eventually "ka mpala"). So whenever the Kabaka left his palace to go to hunt his favourite game, royal courtiers would say "the Kabaka has gone to Kampala to hunt". The name stuck.

In 1890, Captain Frederick Lugard arrived in Buganda as the representative of the Imperial British East African Company and set up camp at (Old) Kampala Hill. When Buganda was declared a British protectorate in 1894, (Old) Kampala became the headquarters of the colonial administration in Buganda and, ultimately, Uganda. The city grew to cover the surrounding hills.

In praise of Uganda's new capital, the colonialists described Kampala to London as "a very beautiful, legendary city built on seven hills like ancient Rome". Although it now spreads over more than 20 hills, it is still sometimes referred to as "the city of seven hills." The legendary seven hills are Mengo, Lubaga, Namirembe, Old Kampala, Kibuli, Nakasero and Makerere).[2]

[edit] Mayors

The mayor is the political head of the city. Kampala got its first mayor in 1950. The following have been its mayors since then:

  1. Sir Amir Maine (1950-55)
  2. K.H. Dale: (1955-56)
  3. C. Lewis (1956-58)
  4. C.E. Develin (1958-59)
  5. S.W. Kulubya (1959-61)
  6. Mrs. B. Saben (1962-63)
  7. P. I. Patel (1962-63)
  8. P. N. Kavuma (1963-65)
  9. W.Y. Nega (1965-68)
  10. A G. Mehta (1968-69)
  11. E. W. Nakibinge (1969-71)
  12. Walusimbi Mpanga (1971-82)
  13. Fred Ssemaganda (1982-86)
  14. Wasswa Ziritwawula (1987-89)
  15. Christopher Iga (1989-97)
  16. Nasser Ntege Sebaggala (1998)
  17. John Ssebaana Kizito (1999 - 2005)
  18. Nasser Ntege Sebaggala (Since 2006)

[edit] Public transportation

The transport system in Kampala is run by private companies and individuals. The main means of transport around the city are 16-seater minibuses, locally referred to as "taxis". They are indentifiable by a blue and white band that runs around them, just below the windows. There are also cabs, both metered and unmetered. Because of their uniform yellow colour, the metered cabs are known as "yellow taxis". All registered cabs, metered or unmetered, carry a white and black band around them. In Uganda, cabs are commonly referred to as "special hire taxis" or simply "special hire". An alternative means of transport, especially if one wants to beat the rush-hour traffic jams, are the motor-cycle taxis, locally known as "boda-boda".

[edit] Related articles

[edit] External links

[edit] Notes

  1. Population Clock
  2. Kirega-Gava, V.P:Kampala City Handbook 2000, Kampala
Retrieved from "http://ugandawiki.ug/Kampala"
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