Mayuge District was established by an act of parliament in 2000 and it’s located in the eastern region of Uganda. The headquarters are situated in Mayuge Town council 120km from Kampala the capital city and 40km from Jinja. It’s bordered by Iganga in the north Jinja in the west, Bugiri in the east and Lake Victoria in the south which is shared by Mukono, district, Bugiri, Mayuge itself and Jinja city.
Mayuge district is sub divided into 12 Subcounties and Four town councils namely: - Baitambogwe, Buwaya, Malongo, Kigandalo, Imanyiro, Kityerera, Bukatube, Mpungwe, Bukabooli, Jagusi, Wairasa, Busakira and Mayuge, Magamaga, Bugadde and Bwondha Town councils. These Lower Local Governments form 3 constituencies i.e. Bunya East which is composed of Kigandalo, Bukabooli, Mpungwe and Buwaya sub counties, Bunya south which is composed of Malongo, Jagusi, Busakira and Kityerera while Bunya west is composed of Imanyiro, Bukatube, Wairasa Mayuge town council and Baitambogwe sub counties. There are84 parishes and 493 villages
Relief Features and Climate:
Geology and Topography
Mayuge District is characterized by extensive undulating lowlands, isolated hills and pediments of approximately 115m with linear and convex slopes between 2 and 8%.
There are flat valley bottoms with slopes less than 2%. The general surface slopes range from 120m in the south-west near Lake Victoria t5o 100m in the North. The District is sculptured into rolling landscape with gentle slopes and swallows valleys (occupied by papyrus swamps) of amplitude far less than 115m and large portion of ridges/hilltops, so much so that lot of arable land is available on hill tops, slopes and the valleys and it is where most of socio-economic activities take place.
The District has along shoreline of Lake Victoria in the south with six islands forming Jaguzi Sub County. The Islands are mainly characterised by sand beaches, granitic and lateritic rock formations. All islands have suffered massive deforestation both in the lakeshores and on the hills due to various human activities.
The majority parts of Mayuge District lies within the Lake Victoria Climatic Zone, with little seasonal variation in temperature, humidity, and winds throughout the year. The District’s climate is related to its situation, elevation, the major air currents and the occurrence of a large mass of water (Lake Victoria) within the District.
The largest part of the District is underlain by un-differential gneisses formerly seen as part of basement complex. Rhodi, Ferralitic and Nitisol are the predominant soil types with patches of Epi/Endo petricplinthsols superimposed on the Nitsols in isolated and very small areas. This soil type is of relatively high to moderate fertility, they are permeable, with a stable structure, and low erodibility, hence less prone top erosion.
Along the shores of Lake Victoria, the soils are mainly Hydromorphic. These are associated with Buganda Surface and Kabira Catena characterised by low to medium fertility. The Northern and Eastern parts are dominated by quartzite and laterites whose parent rock is the Buganda Catena, the remaining part being occupied by Lake sand and Granitic Rocks.
Generally, all soil types in Mayuge District are of moderate stable structure, low in erodibility and high fertility, with ability to support a wide range of activities such as settlement, farming and forest establishment.
However, due to population explosion coupled with poor agronomy practices that range from over farming, monoculture, and deforestation among others, these formerly rich fertile soils have been depleted of natural fertility and rendered less productive than in the past.
Land Tenure and Use
The land in Mayuge is owned under a customary freehold system where pieces of land are owned in perpetuity and hence the owner is able to sell off any of his/her piece of land at wish. Through generation of slicing and sharing of family land and later exacerbated by emergence of land Markets, where thousands of land pieces have changed hands through sale, land fragmentation has occurred which has severely pressed limit on productivity.
Due to fertile soils and favourable climate, the District has great agricultural potential. However, the fact that open water and forest reserves occupy an estimated 87% of the total surface area of the District, significant pressure has been exerted on the natural environment by the increasing population numbers. Most of the Agriculture in the District is done on small scale due to small land holding capacity per household. Common crops grown are cane, coffee, rice, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, gnuts, tomatoes, cabbages beans and trees that has currently picked.
Fishing is yet another high-value activity practiced in the District. The activity is the largest income earnerin the District, accounting for approximat3ely 63%. In 2013, estimated 3000 people were engaged in commercial fishing in the District. The fish caught from lake Victoria include; Nile perch, Tilapia, Rargentae (Mukene), clarias (cat fish), protopterus (lung fish).
In recent times, bee keeping for production of honey is becoming an accepted and practiced method of earning income in the District.
Population size and growth Rate
During the period 2002 – 2020 the District population increased to 569,969, from 327,045 in 2002 this means between 2002 and 2020, the District population increased by 242,924 in a period of 18 years, at an average annual growth rate of 3.1 percent. This trend suggests that, the population could reach 700,258 by 2025. More than half of the population (51 percent) is female, and due to the high fertility rate, its estimated that on average of there is 6.2 children per woman, half of the population is children under the age of 15 years.
Vegetation and Forestry
Mayuge has 3 main Central Forest Reserves namely; South Busoga, Bukaleeba and Walulumbo Central Forest Reserves. South Busoga CFR has heavily been encroached while Bukaleeba was leased to Green Resources/ South Busoga Company for commercial tree planting. Others are District Local Forest Reserves which have for so long been insignificant due to encroachment although the District has started reclaiming them back through the Lands Sector.
Elsewhere, after centuries of human interference, the current vegetation cover in the District comprises of various human manipulated or impacted types, with most of the areas under crop vegetation. There are isolated patches of natural forest left on a few hills, valleys and lakeshores. Elsewhere, grasses such as Pennisetum purpurem and Hyparrheniarufa dominate the vegetation cover. Remnants of tropical trees are scattered on many farmlands with species like markemia lutea, ficus, melicia, exelca, and albizzea spp. dominating most parts of the District. However, the modified types dominate the large extent in settlement or built-up areas such as the Mayuge Town Council and along Landing sites and Fishing Settlements.
Bukaleeba Peninsula and the islands are the visible habitats for wild game in Mayuge District. Although heavily being encroached on, the peninsula is natural habitat for buffalos, antelopes, bushbucks, warthogs, wild pigs, fruit bats, insect eating bats, shrews, civet cats, squirrels, little white egrets, white eagles, snakes, crocodiles, velvet and Colousbadius. Islands are major habitats for birds, kites, otters, hippos monitor lizards, fish and crocodiles.
Elsewhere, continued cutting and planting of trees coupled with environmental degradation and pollution has impacted greatly on the mobility and habitation of wild birds and animals in Mayuge. Generally, there has been a shift of habitats and playing ground from agriculture lands to the forested areas.
The District’s main water body, Lake Victoria is a habitat for a variety of wildlife, of which the tilapia and nile perch are the major types. Lake Victoria supports high density of fish spp. which include; Bagrus docmac, clarias, protopterus, labeo victorianus, etc.