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Saturday,November 28,2020 08:18 AM

You can thrive in Lira town

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th February 2011 03:00 AM

BODA bodas, NGO trucks and bicycle taxis cause a jam on Obote, Juba and Kwania avenues. They compete for the patches of tarmac that make up the roads. The riders navigate through with practiced expertise.

BODA bodas, NGO trucks and bicycle taxis cause a jam on Obote, Juba and Kwania avenues. They compete for the patches of tarmac that make up the roads. The riders navigate through with practiced expertise.

By Titus Kakembo

BODA bodas, NGO trucks and bicycle taxis cause a jam on Obote, Juba and Kwania avenues. They compete for the patches of tarmac that make up the roads. The riders navigate through with practiced expertise.

At the bottom of Oyam Road are flesh peddlers (prostitutes) on duty 24/7. They whisper “mit-wan keken” (delicious, we are family) as they advertise their service to potential consumers passing by. Come nightfall, the streets choke with patrons munching roast meat or rolex.

You are in Lira town, five hours drive from Kampala. It is accessible by bus, ferry from Nakasongola on Lake Kyoga and air. This is home to a population of about 80,880. The dominant tribe in Lira is Langi, but English and Kiswahili are the commonly used languages.

The staple food is millet bread,

lapena (green lentils) and malakwang.

A bed sitter in Lira goes for about sh60,000-sh150,000 per month. A double roomed house costs sh180,000-sh300,000.

For investors, a commercial plot of land in Lira town costs between sh20m-sh50m. However, there is a shortage of decent residential houses for low income earners.

Traditionally, land among the Langi is communally owned and only inherited by the male members of the family.

Presently, Lango sub-region has a cultural head, Mzee Yosam Odur referred to as the Rwot Nyaci.

He heads all the cultural institutions within Lango sub region and he sits at Lango Cultural Centre, which is within Lira Municipality .

John Okello, an elder who has lived in Lira most of his life, says: “Lira town came about after mosquitoes sent colonial administrators fleeing Dokolo in 1905. The present district headquarters was established in 1914. In 1939, a major boundary adjustment was effected and a considerable area in Kaberamaido was transferred to Teso District.”

The hotels in Lira include Santa Solo, Kenyatta, Pauline, Pan Afrique, Mango Tree and Lilian Towers. Patrons here love dancing and guzzling beer and spirits. Local music by Radio and Weasel, Navio and Chameleone keep dance floors here full to capacity. Lingala and R&B are still preferred by the elders. Lira is one of the districts that boasts of a golf club.

The happening places in Lira are concentrated around the south end of Oyam Road .

The main economic activity here is subsistence farming. In the 1950s, cotton was the major cash crop grown there. It was for this reason,that Lira Spinning Mill, now privatised, was set up. Today, cereals like sesame, pigeon peas, millet and sorghum are widely grown.

The climate there is modified by the swamp area surrounding the southern part of the district.

The rain falls twice a year with one peak during April-May and the other in August-October. The average annual rainfall in the district varies between 1200-1600mm, decreasing northwards. It often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The average minimum and maximum temperatures in Lira are 22.5°C and 25.5°C, respectively. An absolute maximum temperature hardly goes beyond 36°C, and the absolute minimum hardly falls below 13°C.

The shops are stocked with every essential commodity, second-hand clothes and pirated copy rights products or counterfeits imported from China or Taiwan.

“They are affordable,” says Joseph Otim. “If I bought my Qony radio and Puma shoes at sh10,000 and used either for six or 12 months, by the time they wear out I will have made more money for new ones.”

Radio Lira and a television station keep residents abreast of global events like Premier leagues, up dates of Ivory Coast elections saga and keep truck of presidential campaigners.

This is the home of Uganda ’s former president Milton Obote. Uganda People’s Congress diehards always take pilgrimage to his home in Akokoro.

One landmark in the town is a mosque whose construction started during the Idi Amin regime and is yet to be completed.



You can thrive in Lira town

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