NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH | KYOTERA
Located 44km southwest of Masaka town, Kyotera has a population of approximately 8,800 people as per the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2011 records.
The miniature trading centre is bustling with trailers, flesh peddlers (prostitutes,) coffee traders and farmers. What was a collection of shops counted on one palm is now a web of multiple narrow streets constructed through hilly mounds of
Like any town in Uganda, sports betting attracts crowds as huge as the nsenene (grasshoppers) during their season.
“children whose parents died due to HIV/AIDs are now landlords, mothers and fathers,” says the chairman, Vincent Kibazi. “Some are local leaders. It is heartwarming to see development in Kyotera, which was in the past synonymous with the HIV scourge.”
There is contention as to where Kyotera falls. Some residents prefer being part of Buganda kingdom, while another lot belongs, the Kamswaga Kabumbuli Chiefdom.
Kyotera is also home to the happy go lucky Kasensero fishing community, which is in stiff competition with randy truck drivers in transit.
Long haul trailers still ply the route from the Indian Ocean to Uganda. A visitor will be surprised to find public condom dispensing boxes empty before midnight.
Lodges are common, while ladies’ dresses, as well as foot wear are the most
popular stock found in shops.
The typical duuka (corner shop) serves the people with their basic essentials.
Life after Rakai life has not been the same in Kyotera district ever since it was carved out of Rakai.
However, although it was hit hard by the AIDS scourge in the 1980s, life defiantly went on. This is visible along the roads in the villages, where subsistence agriculture is the economic source of income.
Iron sheet-roofed houses shimmer as they shadow the graves and rusted iron
sheets of their residents’ fore fathers.
“Bwofuna akukaabira ko…” (If you get company when weeping, you wail even louder…) goes an old adage. And after NGOs such as World Vision and Send A Cow
Uganda pitched camp in Kyotera to help salvage the destitute survivors, they have reason to work even harder.
The resident district commissioner (RDC), Pamela Watuwa, says besides fighting poverty, poor hygiene and malnutrition, the government has put in place an enabling environment.
“It is amazing to discover that while your parents farmed Robusta coffee only for their economic survival, you are intercropping it with fruits, vegetables, poultry and
livestock,” stressed Watuwa.
“The resilience among the Kyotera populace is encouraging. We fought HIV-related problems, so we shallalso fight poverty or climate change,” she said.
A 50x100 plot of land costs sh8m and above, but it is hard to come by land even in this era where youth sell property to invest in bodaboda, sports betting, buy rolex
baking equipment or live lavish lifestyles.
Kibazo, says peace prevails in Kyotera and community policing has weeded out lawbreakers. Leaders also urge the youth to work hard to survive. Those who wish to upgrade their education, but do not have enough resources are advised to
enroll for distance learning or online courses