SDS Programme: Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability

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District Profile

Chief Administrative Officer - Danson Yiga Mukasa 

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Bushenyi District is one of the oldest districts in Uganda created in 1974 curved out of Mbarara District Administration then. In 2009, it was split into five districts (4 new districts of Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema and Rubirizi districts) with one new Municipal Council of Bushenyi-Ishaka. This has drastically reduced the size of Bushenyi District from five counties to one of Igara that includes the municipality. The District is made of 1 County (Igara), 9 Sub-counties, 1 Municipal Council, 4 Town Boards, 3 Wards, 64 parishes and 565 villages.

Bushenyi District lies between 00 N and 00 46’ S of the equator and 290 41’ East and 30030’ East of Greenwich. Bushenyi District headquarters is located 340 kms from Kampala in the South Western part of Uganda. Bushenyi District is neighboring with the districts of Rubirizi in the North, Buhweju and Sheema in the North East, Sheema in the East, Mitooma in the South West and Sheema in the South. The district has a land area of 3’949 square kilometers and lying between 910 – 2,500 meters above sea level. The main physical features within the district include natural tropical forests of Karinzu and Imaramagambo covering an area of 784 km2. Arable land covers 2,215 square kms, open water bodies cover 372 square kms and wetlands covering 183 square kms.


Bushenyi District has a population as projected by 2010 of 117,000 and 124,000 male and female respectively totaling to 241,500 people. The population distribution in rural and urban is projected to stand at 89 per cent rural and 11 per cent urban. Importantly though, the urban population is projected to be almost 1:1 male to female ratio. The population density stands at 282 people per square km with a household size of 6 (5.4).

District Development Focus

The mission of Bushenyi District Local Government as stated in the three years rolling district development plan for the period of 2010/11 – 2012/13 is “To provide quality service through a coordinated delivery system, focusing on the national and local priorities for sustainable development". To fulfill the above mission, the district generates and continues to roll on annual basis the district development plan. These plans are generated and developed in a participatory manner, integrating the lower local government priorities and those from other development partners in the district. All these efforts are meant to help in achieving the district’s vision of “Having a prosperous population accessing quality services and harnessing natural resources in a sustainable manner” and achieving its key goal of “Improved service delivery for socio-economic development of the people".

Social Sector Service Delivery Systems

Health and HIV/AIDS

The district has several health units at various levels of administrative unit from Parishes to the district. Some of these health units are government owned while others are NGO owned and others private. Bushenyi District has 64 parishes and these are being served by 34 health facilities and on average each health facility within a parish is within 5 km radius. Based on the coverage of health facilities right from parish level it is estimated that 70 per cent of the population is within a walk able distance as recommended by the Ministry of Health to the health unit. HIV/AIDS services are offered in 15 health facilities which give coverage of 30.6 per cent of services within 5 km radius.

Education System

Bushenyi District has 92 primary schools of which 79 are government aided and 13 are privately owned. The district also has 9 government aided secondary schools and 10 privately owned schools in addition to 2 government owned tertiary institutions and 1 privately owned. The total enrolment in primary school is 45,363 children; 48 percent of them females. This reflects under-enrolment of females, since they constitute 50.4 percent of the primary school age population in the district. The reported total enrolment is only 87 percent of the projected primary school age population for the district. This may imply that many children in the district (13 percent) are not enrolled in school; or that some of these may be enrolled in other districts. The current pupil: classroom ratio is 50: 1.

Community-Based Services

The Community Based Services department is among the departments that are critical in opening up for all other development and service delivery initiatives in LGs. In Bushenyi District, the department is striving to deliver the expected services. The department has 5 CDOs and 2 ACDOs . Functional adult literacy activities are going on in the district; with 300 classes manned by 309 Instructors and 2,150 learners.  

Community development support structures: The district has 65 Village Health Teams supporting basic health service provision in some parts of the district. In the area of planning and general community development are Parish Development Committees (PDCs) who participate in supporting the Parish Chiefs in the fulfillment of the LG Planning and Budgeting cycle right from villages planning meetings to development and integration of Parish Investment Plans. In addition, there are Water User Committees (WUCs) and these are formed now and again whenever there is a new clean water source going to be developed. All these community structures are at various levels of performance but quite effective in supporting the various social sector service delivery systems.

Vulnerable groups: In Bushenyi District there are a number of vulnerable groups among which are the elderly, PWDs and orphans. The district has tried to mainstream and incorporate issues of vulnerable and marginalized into the development plan. Bushenyi District has 1 school (Ruhandagazi) specifically for children with disabilities. Another category of vulnerable people in the district is the extremely poor; especially found in remote communities such as Kararo, Manengo, Kakoni, Nyungu and Kahungye. The common causes of poverty in these areas include: alcoholism, poor soils, land fragmentation, high fertility rate, and limited participation of men in productive work.

For more information about Bushenyi District Click Here


District Documents

District Multi-Year Improvement Plan

District Development Plan

District Capacity Building Plan

SDS News

  • SDS Knowledge Resource Centre
    Over the first four years of SDS, the Programme has made substantial investment in the development of technical resources for use in strengthening the core aspects of local government performance. These technical resources have been used in the delivery of technical assistance, informing local government reforms and refining the skills of local government officials. Click the link above to access them.
  • Symposium on Innovations in Local Government Social Service Delivery
    SDS coordinated a symposium for USAID—in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government—on February 5–6, at the Protea Hotel in Kampala. The symposium’s theme was Thinking Differently: Innovations in Local Government Social Service Delivery.

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