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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Title Page 1
Title Page 2
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 1
Table of Contents 2
Endemic mammals and birds of Western Uganda: measuring Uganda's biological wealth and a plea for supra-economic values
Poaching and human pressures in Rwenzori National Park
East Karamoja: Its potential as a national park
John Macallister and the town of Mbarara 1898-1900
The journey of Cunningham through Ankole in 1894
Katwe salt deposits
Uganda bibliography 1973
Whither the Uganda Journal?
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
,Urn,^ F, I 'T'
............. . . .
THE, JOURNAL, OF-THE UGANDA S -T
AmmALs AND BIRDS OF WESTERX
UGANDA: MEAStMING UGANDAS.:BIQLOGICAL
WE AND Az PLEA FOR SUPRA-ECONOMM A"
POAMING &D HumAN PREsSUM IN
RWENZORI,,NATIONAL PART, Pl, L P-DPOMA
FASTXARAMoYA:: Its. PoTpaNnAL -As A
NATIONAL P*M, G. WILSON'
'JOHN MAmusm AND:=, TOWN,
MBA" 18984900 All
THE JouRNEY OF CUNNINGIV&
M, KoLt IN 1894 D. WEE"s,
JL3 All R., FAwcuj i
-XAtWE- SALT, DEVosrrs
CHECK-LIST OF THE ARTI Awr) DomEsm S
WORKS OF THE KARAXOJ ",:WlLr ON
'Y SUCUSSIC V
E, L. EDROMA- 9
RWENzORi NATIONAL PARK
UGANDA Bil'tLIOGRAPHY 19 C d_ y. RW. LAN6LANDS,,,
too] .-0]]]] ..
N i t s .. ................... i t
The Journal of the Uganda Society
Published by the
P.O. Box 4980
0 Uganda Society 1975
Published in 1975 for 1973
ENDEMIC MAMMALS AND BIRDS OF WESTERN
UGANDA: MEASURING UGANDA'S BIOLOGICAL
WEALTH AND A PLEA FOR SUPRA-ECONOMIC
POACHING AND HUMAN PRESSURES I
RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK -
EAST KARAMOJA: ITS POTENTIAL AS A
NATIONAL PARK -
JOHN MACALLISTER AND THE TOWN
MBARARA 1898-1900 -
THE JOURNEY OF CUNNINGHAM THROUGH
ANKLE IN 1894 -
KATWE SALT DEPOSrrs -
CHECK-LIST OF THE ARTIFACTS AND DOMESTIC
WORKS OF THE KARAMOJONG -
PRIMARY SUCCESSION AT THE HIPPO POOL,
RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK -
UGANDA BIBLIOGRAPHY 1973. Compiled by
E. L. EDROMA
J. G. WILSON
A. H. FAwcrTT
J. G. WILSON
E. L. EDROMA
Uganda Journal, 37 (1973) pp.1-7.
ENDEMIC MAMMALS AND BIRDS OF WESTERN UGANDA:
MEASURING UGANDA'S BIOLOGICAL WEALTH AND A PLEA
FOR SUPRA-ECONOMIC VALUES
Presidential Address, 19 April 1973
This address has been stimulated by Uganda's national report on the
human environment to the Stockholm Conference, by Sir Frank Fraser
Darling's Reith lectures on "Wilderness and plent) ", by an invitation to dis-
cuss wildlife with the Makerere forestry students and by my own work on an
inventory of mammals.
The first categorical statement I must make is that Uganda is in zoo-
geographical terms one of the most important countries in Africa and in the
world. Apart from its position as an overlap area for several major
ecological zones or African subregions there are numerous species of animals
and plants that are known to be restricted to small parts of western Uganda
and eastern Zaire. These species are predominantly organisms adapted to
forests and some rare forest species are known to be very ancient because
fossils of similar forms have been found in Miocene deposits over twenty
million years old. It is thought that the ecology of the early Angiosperm
communities resembled the conditions found today in tropical lowland forest.
The survival of some very primitive relics in equatorial forest refuges there-
fore offers mankind opportunities to study individual forms of life and also
whole communities that belong to earlier phases in the evolution of animals
and plants.. I need hardly add that these opportunities have scarcely been
touched, although some research has been done on selected organisms that
are useful to man, such as the timber trees, or inimical to man, such as
mosquitoes or yellow-fever vectors. Although my major concern in this
discussion is the tropical forest representing as it does the most complex
and numerically the richest community in the world, it is also possible to
view the woodland and savanna communities that cover must of Uganda as
actually being types of forest degraded by fire, people and animals or by a
drier climate. When it comes to conservation my subsequent suggestions
could be equally applicable to other indigenous communities found in
Uganda and East Africa as a whole.
I should like first to consider biological wealth and to suggest that
an objective way of measuring and enumerating units of biological value is
an urgent and essential task for modern conservation in East Africa. My
own work on East African mammals has involved the compilation of
species' lists and the mapping of distributions. This sort of exercise has been
or is currently being, undertaken by specialists studying many. other groups
of plants and animals. Although these inventories are an essential prerequisite
for rational conservation the co-ordination of results has scar6cly begun. In
East Africa conservation started with the gazetting of sanctuaries or parks
for the spectacular gorillas, wildebeest migrations, elephants and lions.
We have now reached the point where the creation of huge new parks seems
unlikely and where a deeper examination of objectives and values is needed.
Economic values are today considered by the majority to be the ultim-
ate criterion of policy and the forces working against conservation derive
their power from this assumption. The Uganda Government's national report
on the human environment discusses the dilemmas of development and
the environment, pointing out that "the fundamental problem of policy is to
clearly distinguish the areas of conflict from those of complementarity and
to devise such strategies and policies as minimize the former and maximize
the latter The task of planning is to assign socially acceptable and
economically feasible priorities to the various objectives and to formulate
appropriate trade-offs among them".
The absence of detailed inventories has in fact made the objectives of
ecological conservation more difficult to define and less capable of standing
up to rational argument. Although everyone agrees that Uganda is "rich in
wild life" (i.e. lions, elephants, gorillas) nobody has attempted to measure
just how rich Uganda is. People actually use the word "rich" and yet talk
about Uganda as a "poor" country economically. Figures exist for the latter
but not for the former. The simplest means of measuring biological richness
is by compiling lists of species, genera, families and higher taxons. However,
in assessing the richness of a biological community living in a circum-
scribed area I think an elaboration of the point system is possible. Follow-
ing the initial assessment of species there should be a further examination
of the overall distribution of each species to determine its relative rarity
and further points should be given to each species with a restricted range.
Still further points could be awarded to species that are exceptionally
vulnerable for any reason. Local endemics would, of course, get the highest
points. Biological knowledge of eastern Africa has advanced to the point
where this exercise could be done reasonably well for popular groups like
orchids, birds and mammals and perhaps for butterflies, amphibians, reptiles
and trees. I believe this measuring of wealth is important because the wide-
spread extinction of whole communities is proceeding at undiminished speed
in many parts of the world. It is deplored in intelligent circles, but the
economists tend to click their tongues and with sad godlike smiles explain
that nothing can stand in the way of human progress. There is no gain-saying
the contention that no commercial value can be put upon the great majority
of species that the conservationist wishes to preserve, but since the confron-
tation is as much a conflict of values, is it not possible that supra-economic
values could appeal to local susceptibilities and value systems?
Measuring wealth is important because feeling wealthy is probably as
significant for most people as actually being wealthy and I think that officials,
game wardens, foresters and politicians might take more pride in their res-
ponsibility to world conservation if they were provided with data that showed
them in simple numerical terms what a "biological millionaire" Uganda is
In addition to such an appeal to pride, status, and responsibility, it should
be remembered that there has been in some parts of Africa a tradition of
social responsibility in relation to the land where a man saw himself as a
mere link in a long chain of life, extending back into the past and on into the
unforeseeabe future. Aldo Leopold's statement on ethics and ecology might
make particularly good sense within this tradition "that land is a com-
MAMMALS OF WEST UGANDA
munity, is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and
respected is an extension of ethics we abuse land because we regard
it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to
which we belong we may begin to use it with love and respect". Sir Frank
Fraser Darling, surveying the roots of the world conservation movement
remarks: "There is an ethic of responsibility for the environment which is a
growing body of philosophy, but it is not generally understood and it is fol-
lowed only expediently... Conservation is a synthesizing applied social science
crossing the boundaries of all branches of culture, not least the arts, in its ob-
servational study of communities". The scientific and cultural claims of the
conservation movement are being taken increasingly seriously and the new
Secretariat for the United Nations Environment Agency in Nairobi will
undoubtedly become a vivid reminder and developer of environmental con-
sciousness within East Africa. A broad recognition of the seriousness of
purpose behind the conservation movement is most important because the
East African public is so often treated to gross exhibitions of sentimentality
about animals. As Fraser Darling has underlined, sentiment and the ethical
base for conservation should not be confused, "ethics stand firm and are to
be sought by spiritual and intellectual effort of reflection, sentiment is a poor
guide in the mosaic of ecology and conservation".
Returning now to the measurable units of value, the species, it must
be remembered that the economist can never put a value on a species. All
he can do is recognize that a species (or the biological community of which
it is a part) is unique and irreplaceable. So what value can be put on a
unique form of life?
A species is the realization of a unique possibility of existence. Our
own collective existence as the human race is but one single possibility of
existence and each single species is a manifestation of other potentialities.
The destruction of a species is one of the greatest crimes that man is capable
of. It represents the loss within the universe, for all time, of one unique poten-
tiality in life. It is also the betrayal of an ancient trust linking our ancestors
with our descendents. It is an irresponsible impoverishment of our already
The special importance of the equatorial forests of Africa is that while
they are both vulnerable and relatively small (particularly in eastern Africa)
they also represent an ancient biotic community offering the largest range of
niches to forms of life, rather as a big capital city offers the widest range
of employment. The risk of impoverishment rises when the community that is
threatened is rich in species but small area. This is certainly the case in
Uganda where less than 4% of the land is true forest. Fraser Darling's
warning on the vulnerability of damaged communities may be peculiarly
relevant to our forests: "Biological productivity and ecological wealth rest on
the wide variety of species, which means flexibility and unconscious co-oper-
ation within the whole ecosystem. When man alters natural ecosystems by
design or ignorance they are usually simplified or made less complete and
lose something of their holistic quality of resistance to invasion by foreign
At this point we might return to the subject of who holds the ultimate
responsibility for allowing the destruction of species. Once upon a time our
forebears passed the buck on to God, and there is a long text in Genesis
which can be read as a crude form of licence issued to Adam and his pro-
geny. However, today we are conscious of bearing the responsibility on our
own shoulders. In this half of the twentieth century we ought to be shock-
ed if the authorities in charge of a habitat containing the only living examples
of a unique species were not conscious of their charge and zealous to execute
their responsibility to protect its continued existence. Sadly we must con-
clude that such ill-informed authorities and administrators do exist and
that there is a general ignorance of man's newly found responsibilities. Man
now decides on the survival or destruction of other forms of life on this
planet and he has a special responsibility towards that unit of value we call
a species because we are now in a position to know that many species only
live or grow in certain strictly limited spots. This is especially true for the
fauna and flora of the west Uganda forests.
These then are some of the more obvious values attached to species. I
can now present some comparative figures. Beginning with trees, Eggeling
lists over 800 species of trees and shrubs for Uganda, whereas the whole of
Europe possesses only between 70 and 130 indigenous species. An equally
startling figure emerges with forest birds. The Los Angeles County Museum
recorded 284 species of birds in the Bwindi-Kayonza forest reserve. The area
investigated in only a very few square miles and the period of observation
was two months. A lifetime's search through the length and breadth of
Britain's many diverse habitats would not reveal as many species. In other
words it is possible in a segment of one forest in a tiny corner of Uganda
to see a greater variety of birds than in the whole of Britain. In the small but
vitally important Semliki forest in Bwamba a total of 380 species has been
recorded. This staggering number of birds has led the ornithologists Fried-
man and Williams to remark "the lowland forests of Bwamba must possess
one of greatest concentrations of bind species of any area in the entire
African continent". As the area sampled is less than 200 square kilometres,
one might and add than anywhere in the world.
Turning to mammals there are approximately 100 forest animal species
to be found in our forests and for some of these the world distribution is
restricted to western Uganda and a part of eastern Zaire. The total number
of mammal species that may be found in Uganda's forests alone exceeds the
number of species found over the whole of Europe. Taking the mammals by
families; about 40 families occur in the forests of East Africa. There are
only about 30 families in all habitats, forest and otherwise, in the whole of
Europe. Sixteen primate species live in Bwamba forest alone, whereas over
the whole of Europe man is the only primate.
The mammals and birds with a world distribution restricted to the
western Uganda and eastern Zaire region are appended. This list represents
species that might become extinct if their habitats (which in most cases are
various types of forest vegetation) were to be destroyed or changed. If the
many other types of endemic organism were to be listed many pages would
be required. Much the same story can be told for flowers, herbs, frogs,
insects and reptiles. It is true we might feel better off without some of these
species, particularly those involved in disease, but the fact remains that for
the vast majority of species we know little more about them than the name
we have given them.
MAMMALS OF WEST UGANDA
Considering how fundamental knowledge has been gleaned from the in-
tensive study of homely things like sweet peas, honey bees and fruit flies,
how much remains to be learned, particularly here in Uganda. The lack of
knowledge of the tropical flora and fauna of Africa is a reproach to twentieth
century man and to his science. "Science enlarges our vision and ecology is
concerned with cause and consequences on a broad front. We should be delv-
ing ecologically into the future, but in general we are not doing so" (Fraser
Darling). New forms of animals and plants are still being found here. A
new genus of rodent was found by Dr. Delany in the Echuya Forest Reserve
in 1961. I myself have recently described in the Uganda Journal a new race
of squirrel from Malambhgambo forest and Mr. T. Synnott is describing a
new Erythrina species from Budongo.
It 's also important to remember the zoogeographic pattern which sug-
gests that some areas are ancient relic refuges while other areas have been
more recently colonised by widespread and common dominant species. This
pattern reveals that not all species nor all areas of forests are of equal value.
On this criterion the forests of the greatest significance are the Bwindi-
Kayonza (formerly known as the Impenetrable), Semliki, Ruwenzori, Kibale
and Malambigambo forests. Some very small East African forests possess
unique endemics, others possess an incredibly rich variety of rare species.
These small areas are often superior in number of species (and conservation
points) to the vast forests of Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. Even within
Uganda some forests have a relatively unremarkable fauna and flora while
others possess some of the greatest concentrations of vertebrate species known
One of the most remarkable things about Uganda is the thoroughness
with which it has been mapped. The Forest Department has taken this still
further and mapped the details of floral communities and zones within its
own reserves. Detailed maps of habitats therefore exist, species lists for some
groups exist and rarity-value can also be readily computed for many species.
We have therefore a basis in Uganda for a rational assessment of the coun-
try's biological riches.
At this point I wish to return to the reconciliation of economic value
and development with the supra-economic value of conservation; a reconci-
liation which I do not feel is impossible. The means of preserving represent-
ative habitats and giving them a value is through a mosaic of small sanctu-
aries all over the country under the ultimate control of a governmental
Environmental Department but which could often be loosely attached to
educational and other agencies. The determination of the areas which should
be conserved would operate at different levels. The first would be the overall
national level and here we find many of the appropriate measures are under
consideration or have already been attempted. There are three well-
established national parks and nine more have been suggested by the National
Parks. Two sanctuaries exist, one for the gorilla, the other for the sitatunga
(neither of which are effective). This level of planning should embrace the
preservation of communities and species of special or unique value such as
local endemics, Afro-alpine habitats and spectacular rarities such as gorillas,
yellow-backed duikers and white rhinos. A second level operates within the
large game and forest reserves where activities such as pastoralism and
logging might be a threat to the survival of particular biological com-
munities or species. Some reserves need to be rated a higher or lower
conservation value and the mosaic of small sanctuaries that I believe is
essential should be computed accordingly. The size and the frequency of
the sanctuaries should take account of the overall value of the area and in
important reserves should be determined by certain parameters. These may
be classified as (1) Recognisable vegetation types (ensuring that every type
is represented). (2) Catenas (with drainage and altitudinal zones or belts in-
cluded), (3) Rotation (i.e. where cycles can be recognized there should be a
a provision for the operation and study of this dynamic element in appro-
priate strips and protected zones). The average percentage of area given
over to mosaic sanctuaries in indigenous vegetation reserves should be about
10 per cent. In areas of peripheral interest or importance this could be
diminished, while in very important floral and faunal refuge areas as Bwindi-
Kayonza, Bwamba, Kibale and Malambigambo forests it should be greater.
Looking forward into the not-so-distant future it is not impossible to
see legislation obliging large scale developers, be they open-cast miners, oil-
men, sugar-growers, ranchers, tea-planters or timber merchants to devote
10% of their allocated area of exploitation to sanctuaries for the original
fauna and flora of the region or an equivalent proportion of their profits to
finance less well-endowed areas. Fraser Darling has already suggested the
taxing of those who create ecological dereliction as restitution for their
ravages. Foreign governments, the buyers and consumers of timber, sugar,
cotton, coffee and tea should also pay to offset the terrible ecological cost
that ,their endless appetite engenders. Where men are obliged to live in the
midst of vast areas totally given over to monocultures or to industrial deserts
we can already see the cultural and spiritual, if not physical, poverty of these
In this biological treasure house of Uganda the future tything of large
scale consumers and enterprises might be one way of making development
directly responsible for these supra-economic values that its activities threa-
ten. Uganda and the world have a great deal to lose and still more to gain.
MAMMALS OF WEST UGANDA
Mammal species with world distribution restricted to special habitats (mainly forest)
Primates Galago inustus
Insectivores Micropotamogale ruwenzori
Chiroptera Rhinolophus ruwenzori
Rodents Funisciurus carruthersi
Carnivora Genetta victoria
Osbornictis (maybe in Rwanda)
Arti Odactyla Hylarnus harrisoni
Birds restricted to Uganda and eastern Zare
Cap rimulgus ruwenzorii
Alethe polio phyrs
Li optilus rufocinctus
Other rare birds of united distribution in Uganda and East Africa
Uganda Journal. 37 (1973) pp.9-18.
POACHING AND HUMAN PRESSURES IN
RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK
By E. L. EDROMA.
Rwenzori National Park (formerly Queen Elizabeth National Park) was
established in 1952. It covers an area of 1978 Km2 and is situated in western
Uganda between 29* 45'E and 30 15'E and 0* 30'S. and 0* 15'N. Lying
between Lake George of some 390 Km2 in the east, and Lake Idi Amin
Dada of some 216 Km2 in the west, the majority of the area is within easy
reach of permanent water. Most of the Park lies at about 990m above sea
The Park is not an inviolate sanctuary for the wildlife since man has
been living in it for a long time (Bwami, 1970). The history of the area that
is now the Park is well known from the accounts of Stanley (1890), Hale
Carpenter (1921), Wainwright (1954), Bishop and Posnansky (1960), Morris
(1960), Beadle (1965), Posnansky (1965), and Temple-Perkins (1965), all
of which are summarised by Spinage (1968) and Woodford (1971). Because
of a succession of outbreaks of rinderpest and sleeping sickness in the 1890's
and early 1910's affecting the human and domestic animal populations, most
homes and huts in the Park were abandoned (Scott Elliot, 1896; Lugard,
1896). Rehabilitation of the villages in the area started in the 1930's. From
1931 the area became a game reserve with considerable protection. Since
1952 when the Park was gazetted the wildlife became fully protected and
human settlement in the Park was confined to 26 predominantly fishing vil-
lages. During the twenty years of the Park's existence, people have been
moving from Toro, Ankole, Kigezi and Acholi districts to earn a living in
the Park. Many of these settlers are a rich source of poachers with hunting
heritage. Because of the civil unrest in eastern Zaire there was a large influx
of Zaire people into Uganda in 1965 to increase the number of potential
poachers. Aerni's (1969) preliminary observations have shown that these
villages are expanding rapidly, confirming the view of de Vos (1960), and
that some management problems such as poaching and uncontrolled grass-
land burning originate from the increasing human populations both within
and outside the Park.
The surrounding land adjoining the Park boundary is cultivated by
people who live outside the Park. The Bakonjo to the north and northwest,
the Acholi Quarter to the northwest, the Bachiga to the south and southeast,
and the Banyaruguru and Batoro on the eastern boundary, all possess a
very active tradition of hunting (Aerni, 1969) and their activities are of
significance to the survival of the game in the Park.
Casual observations confirm the monthly Park report whose poaching
statistics always include numerous instances of illegal entries into the Park,
unlawful burning and cutting of the vegetation, unnecessary demands of
more Park's land by the villagers such as at Muhokya, erection of new
houses in the fishing villages, overfishing in the lakes (G. Bowman pers.
comm.), pollution of the Park by heavy metals from Kilembe Copper mines
(Edroma, 1972), and proposed development plans (Town Cerk, 1973) for
establishing a salt factory and commercial and industrial centres in Katwe.
These reports coupled with unfounded alarming reports of the wildlife mas-
sacre by heavy poaching (Newsweek, 1973) are of a challenge to the conser-
vationist. The aim of this paper is to report on:-
(i) The number of people in the six major villages (Katwe, Muhokya,
Katunguru Ankole, Katunguru Toro, Kazinga and Rwenshama).
(ii) The occupation of these villagers.
(iii) The usual methods by which these villagers travel in the Park.
(iv) Conflict or encounters between the people and the wildlife.
(v) The number and ages of the houses in assessing rate of expansion.
(vi) The number of poachers seen and/or arrested monthly.
(vii) Tools used by poachers.
(viii) The animal species suffering casualties from the poachers.
Written questionnaires were used for finding out the factors (i-v) men-
tioned above. All the houses were visited and the people found in the houses
were asked to provide information on these points. Owners of 1-3% of the
total houses in each village were not found for questioning. The accuracy of
the results obtained (except for the number of houses) depended on the inte-
grity of the villagers questioned. For example some villagers underestimated
the number of domestic animals as it is illegal to keep them. The data for
poaching statistics were obtained from the Chief Warden's monthly reports
for the Park. These refer only to incidents known to the Park authorities
and are therefore likely to be incomplete.
The total number and the distribution of people in different occupations
are given in Table 1. The largest population was found in Katwe with over
3000 people while the smallest (692) was in Katunguru Ankole. The actual
populations in the villages are more than those stated since occupants of
some houses were not available at the time. With the exception of Muhokya,
the fishing industry employs the largest number of people followed by busi-
ness (salt in the case of Katwe). Muhokya is inland and farming took the
largest labour force. It is here that some 0.3 km2 of the former "no-man's
land" which had provided a buffer zone between the settlement and the
Park was given to the villagers for farming early in 1973. It is of some interest
to see that with the exception of the two Katungurus a large percentage of the
villagers depend on a small proportion of the population. Such large numbers
of idle dependents are likely to be the source of potential poachers.
Katwe, followed by Rwenshama and Muhokya, have the largest number
of houses (Table 2) while Kazinga has the least. From Table 2 it may be
seen that the highest proportion of houses were built on new sites in the last
five years and that the proportion decreases with age. With the exception of
Katwe and Katunguru nearly 90% of the houses were built since the designa-
tion of the Park in 1952. These are villages which were gradually resettled
after the human evacuation subsequent to the outbreaks of diseases. The
populations of Katwe and Katunguru were allowed to remain for maintaining
the salt and fishing industries. Consequently at least 23% of the houses in
Katwe and Katunguru Ankole are old.
Goats, sheep and cows are kept in these communities (Table 3). The
goats continually enter the Park and they have been a source of attracting
POACHING IN RUWENZORI N.P.
e I Peninsula
i Lake Id/
'* "Amin Dado
IN RWENZORI NATIONAL
-. -International boundary
- Main roads
I Study villages
= Originally no-man's land
O Miles 19
0 Km 16
lions to the villages. Many sheep, cats, dogs and chickens were noticed in all
From Table 4 the means of movement of the people can be judged. In
all the villages studied, taxis, bicycles, feet and buses (except the geographi-
cally isolated Kazinga) are used for general travelling. Private cars are used
in Muhokya and Katwe. At least 50% (except Muhokya and Rwenshama)
of the people use taxis and nearly the rest of mobile people use buses, bicy-
cles or feet. Walking in the Park is still frequent between the 26 villages
throughout the Park. The pressure on footpaths across Mweya Peninsula
has been so high that pedestrians are now forbidden to commute between
Kazinga village and Mweya on foot after crossing Kazinga Channel by boat.
This has been stopped primarily as a safety measure against the risk of the
pedestrians' own lives fronr the wildlife and against the creation of more
footpaths on Mweya Peninsula, a research area.
Neither the people nor the game animals are respectors of boundaries.
Table 5 shows the number of times the villagers encountered and/or found
the animals a nuisance in the villages. The number of encounters between
men and any one animal species varies from place to place. Most meetings
were with elephants and lions in Kazinga and Muhokya, with hippopotamus
and elephants in Katwe and Renshama and with buffaloes and lions in both
Katunguru villages. With very few exceptions as when men were reported
eaten by lions or killed or injured by the large animals, these encounters have
not been fatal.
The poaching statistics in the whole Park are summarised on Table 6.
The numbers of poachers both seen but escaped, and arrested, built up stead-
ily from 1968 to a peak in 1971, after which they declined. Similarly the
number of pangas, spears and wiresnares captured, steadily dropped from
1971. Contrary to these the number of dogs destroyed from the poachers
increased steadily from an average of 1.5 to 5.5 dogs per month. The number
of people who entered the Park illegally remained high in the three years
The mean animal casualties found killed by poachers in 1972 and 1973
show that hippos, buffaloes, and elephants are the most poached; while
waterbuck and forest hog are the least. The number of casualties remained
stable in the two years with most species except for the elephant. The high
demand for elephant tusks resulting from the recent large increase in price
must have contributed to the increased elephant poaching probably by well-
to-do people coming from outside the Park. As long as black markets for
the tusks remain; poaching of elephants will remain a management problem
in the Park.
The results obtained by the written questionnaires have shown that high
numbers of people live in the Park, the majority of whom (except in the
Katunguru villages) have no specific occupations. This large pool of depend-
ents, consists of children, many of whom go to schools located in the villages,
elderly docile men and women who rear relatively few goats, sheep and
cows, a group of active young men between the ages of 20 and 40 years.
and a group of young women, apparently engaged in brewing beer and
loitering. Most of the active redundant men are often moving about within
the Park looking for opportunities for employment and for resources to
sustain them. They form a large proportion of the people recorded in Table
POACHING IN RUWENZORI N.P.
4. It is suggested that the group of the active dependents may provide a
source of potential poachers and law-breakers in the Park. The presence of
- such people coupled with the fact that public roads traverse the Park, make
elimination of poaching impossible. Some of these cross the Park border
to hunt in the Park, others kill animals that stray from the Park into the
cultivated fields of the villagers.
The increase in the poaching activity between the years 1968 to 1971 is
worrying. Since 1971 the number of poachers caught and their weapons
confiscated for poaching have been decreasing. These encouraging decreases
are probably a result of the intensification of the anti-poaching force coupled
with the presidential announcement allowing the rangers to shoot any poach-
ers on the spot. On the other hand the number of illegal entries into the
Park has remained high (Table 6c) while the number of dogs destroyed by
the rangers have continued to increase.
The specially high figures for the elephant casualties (Table 6a) is
probably of a different nature. The number of elephants killed in 1973 was
more than treble the figures for 1972. Many of the elephants found dead
were left to rot after the poachers removed the tusks. Postmortem exami-
nation of some of the carcasses showed that they were not shot but some
died of poisoning. The mystery of the elephant deaths became clearer when
some poachers have been found in possession of concentrated sulphuric acid
with pH 1. The acids were believed to be infected into food such as bananas
and then left for chosen elephants to eat. The poaching of elephants seems
highly selective and is aimed at killing elephants with big tusks; and the
practice seems to be done by the well-to-do people who have access to
modern sophisticated weapons, rather than practised by the common poach-
ers whose aim is only to get meat. Apart from the elephants, poaching in
Rwenzori National Park has declined and it is hoped that the general present
trend will continue in the years to come. But as long as the potential poach-
ers remain available such a decline will remain temporary.
Because of the increasing human populations, the demand for houses
and land has been increasing and consequently the rate of building houses
has increased, the land adjoining the Park is nearly all cultivated, and some
0.3 km2 land round Muhokya has been regrettably surrendered to the villagers.
Cotton is the main cash crop grown in these farms and sprayed with insecti-
cides which may leave persistent residues. Such residues may eventually find
their way into the waterways by run-off and may accumulate causing deci-
mation of aquatic invertebrate population; and may accumulate in the food
chain to poison fish, birds, and humans, and the herbicides may destroy the
aquatic plants which form the basis of food chains of direct or indirect signi-
ficance to man.
High percentages of the people in the six villages are fishermen but the
populations in the Park do not entirely depend on fish protein. Aerni (1969)
wrote "it is firmly believed that fish is not sufficient for energy food, and
that meat is essential to the diet........... if somebody feels like eating meat
then they go to hunt...........". Such superstitious beliefs and attitudes of
the people about fish and the wildlife as sources of food and medicine should
not be brushed off, and people should now be taught to refrain from killing
the wildlife for food, and to accept fish as food with high nutritive value.
The hunting is done with spears, and by using wiresnares and some
times nets and pits. Dogs are frequently used to flush out and direct the
game towards the hunters. A wide range of large mammals are killed for
food. From Table 6a elephants, hippos, buffaloes, the forest hog, waterbuck,
warthog, and the kob are killed. Aerni (1969) had also recorded all these
animals plus bushbuck, bushpig and cane rats as favoured wildlife for food.
The preference of meat from the wildlife over that from domesticated animal
is not strange to understand. Hunting of game animals for food and medicine
to be employed by the witchdoctor (Aerni, 1969) is still done by many of
the settlers, despite the fact that pursuing this activity in the Park is danger-
ous and illegal. Ledger (1963) showed that game species have a higher lean
meat content than domestic animals. This scientific finding plus the super-
stitious belief that meat from wildlife has medicinal value may well explain
the persistence of poaching in the Park despite the severe penalties issued
to the offenders. Ledger's result has a far-reaching implication in a protein
deficient situation that the people may be suffering from and a situation
which may tend to promote poaching of animals for food.
Poaching of wildlife for food will continue especially as the source of
protein such as cattle and sheep are relatively few in the Park (Table 3)
and around the Park (Aerni, 1969). To watch the expansion of the villages
and to see the implementation of the proposed construction of a salt factory,
a commercial and industrial centres, senior and junior staff houses in Katwe
will ultimately amount to inviting more sources of problems (poaching,
pollution, uncontrolled fires, loss of Park land to villagers, noise, which
will prove difficult to overcome in the conservation and management of the
Park's flora and fauna). It must be realized that these problems are a result
of the increasing human pressure on the land. Indeed as de Vos (1960) wrote
".........the most serious examples of mis-management of a national park
is ........... that fisherman's villages are allowed to sprawl without adequate
planning or supervision in Queen Elizabeth (now Rwenzori National Park)."
Before they reach regrettable magnitudes it is suggested that their causes
must first be understood and then arrested with immediate effect as a first
management step. It may prove difficult to control the human pressure
around the Park, but the Park's authority must not hesitate to restrict the
infiltration of more settlers into the Park, nor should the Park sit back and
watch the increasing building of houses in the villages, the implementation
of the proposed development of Katwe/Kabatoro Township, further acquisi-
tion of more Park's land for cultivation, and the creation of more footpaths
and tracks in the Park. The fishing and the salt industries are essential to
the country's economy as such resources are rare elsewhere, but their ex-
ploitation in the Park needs careful planning and control. However there is
no justification for using the Park for grazing cattle and goats nor for
cultivation, bearing in mind that vast areas of Uganda outside the Park are
suitable for such activities and are not yet developed. If the present situation
is left unchecked, most of the villages will increase in size thus resulting
into further increases in the problems of over population.
Table 1. The total number of the villagers, the number and the percentage
(in parentheses) of people engaged in each occupation.
Total Fishermen Farmers Business-men Shops Bars Salt
1101 37( 3.4) 157 33(3.0) 8.(0.7) 4(0.4) 0
692 484(69.9) 0 61(8.8) 25(3.6) 21(3.0) 0
893 316(35.4) 59( 6.6) 42(4.7) 52(5.2) 49(5.5) 0
3022 180( 6.0) 27( 0.0) 129(4.3) 18(0.6) 19(0.6) 150(5.0)
699 69( 9.9) 0 12(1.7) 4(0.6) 11(1.6) 0
2280 188( 7.9) 0 66(2.8) 14(0.) 6(0.3) 0
Table 2 The total number of houses, the number and the per
centage (in parentheses) of houses in each age group in years.
Total 0-5* 6 10 11 15 16 20 21 30
321 155(48.3) 92(28.7) 17( 5.3) 25( 7.8) 21( 6.5)
178 45(25.3) 37(20.8) 28(15.7) 20(11.2) 21(11.8)
156 65(41.7) 48(30.8) 17(10.9) 13( 8.3) 7( 4.5)
802 156(19.5) 143(17.8) 148(18.5) 200(24.9) 127(15.9)
104 61(58.7) 12(11.5) 11(10.6) 10( 9.6) 6( 5.8)
482 256(53.1) 82(17.0) 48(10.0) 38( 7.9) 32( 6.3)
*New houses built on new sites, thus showing expansion of the villages.
2.2) 838(76.1) 0
31 40 Over 40
1( 3.4) 0
3(12.9) 6(3.4) 0
6( 3.8) 0
4( 3.0) 4(5.0) >
2( 1.9) 2(1.9)
26( 5.4) 0
Table 3. The total number and percentage (in parentheses) of
the people in each village indicating their usual method of traveling the Park.
115(37.2) 8( 2.6)
POACHING IN RUWENZORI N.P.
Table 4. The numbers of domestic animals.*
*No census was taken
in all the villages.
for dogs, cats and chicken
but they were noticeable
Table 5. The number of encounters of conflicts between the villagers and
Hippo. Lion. Elephant. Hyaena. Buffalo.
Table 6(a) The mean monthly animal casualties caused by poachers.
(b) The mean number of dogs destroyed per month.
(c) The number of illegal entries into the Park recorded per month.
Aerni, M. J. (1969). A study of poaching and attitudes of local inhabitants towards
wildlife in Uganda. Unpubl. Report to Uganda National Parks.
Beadle, L. C. (1965). The Uganda National Parks in Prehistoric times. I. Landscape
changes. (In Uganda National Parks Handbook).
Bishop, W. M. and M. Posnansky (1960). Pleistocene environments and early man in
Uganda. (Uganda J.24, 44-61).
Bwami, R. T. M. (1970). Human settlement in Queen Elizabeth National Park. UnpubL
Report to Uganda National Parks.
Edroma, E. L. (1972). Copper pollution in Rwenzori National Park. UnpubL Report
to Uganda National Parks.
Hale-Carpenter, G. D. (1921). Unpublished Report to the S.M.O. Uganda Medical files.
Ledger, H. P. (1963). Animal Husbandry research and wildlife in East Africa.
(E.Afr.Wildl. J.1, 18-28).
Lugard, F. D. (1896). The rise of our East African Empire.
Morris, K. R. S. (1960). Studies on the epidemiology of Sleeping Sickness in East
Africa. III. The endemic area of Lakes Edward and George in Uganda. (Transac-
tions of the Royal Society of Medicine and Hygiene. 54 pp.212-224).
Newsweek 17th September, 1973. Africa: Deadly Ivory Rush. Newsweek. 82, (12),25-6.
Posnansky, M. (1965). Prehistory. Uganda National Parks Handbook.
Scott Elliot, G. F. (1896). A naturalist in mid-Africa.
Spinage, C. A. (1968). The autecology of the Uganda waterbuck (Kobus defassa
ugandae). Unpubl.Ph.D.Thesis, University of London.
Stanley, H. M. (1890). In darkest Africa.
Temple-Perkins, E. A. (1965). The country now the Queen Elizabeth National Park, as
I have known it from forty years ago. UnpubL MS. to Queen Elizabeth National
Vos de, A. (1969). Problems in National Parks management in East Africa. In The
Canadian National Parks: today and tomorrow. Studies in land use history and
landscape change. National Parks series No. 3 pp. 695-706, ed. by J. C. Nelson
and R. C. Scace, University of Calgary, 1969.
Wainwright, G. A. (1954). The diffusion of uma as a name for iron. (Uganda J. 18,
Woodford, M. H. (1970). Tuberculosis in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in the
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Dr. Vet. Med. Thesis. University of
My sincere thanks go to Messrs. B. Kahababo, Y. Karyabaruma and F.
Odongo for assistance in the villages, to Mr. Bwami the Chief Warden, for
providing access to the Park's monthly reports of 1968 to August 1973, and
to Dr. Eltringham for criticism of the manuscript. This article is published
with permission of the Director of Uganda National Parks.
Uganda Journal. 37 (1973) pp.19-27.
EAST KARAMOJA: ITS POTENTIAL AS A NATIONAL PARK
By J. G. WILSON
Currently in Europe and America areas of special interest to the com-
munity are increasingly being set aside as National Parks. Some of these
areas in comparison with Uganda's Parks are miniscule, measuring possibly
only ten square kilometres or so. The factors promoting the setting aside of
such areas are not always the presence ot wild animals and birds, many other
factors are involved including scenic beauty. Others may include the exist-
ence of rare plants or even unusual phenomena such as the existence of
geysers or the presence of fossilised plant and animal remains. Many factors,
therefore, contribute to the creation of a National Park and the abundance of
wild animals is not obligatory as a basis for its creation. Uganda has already
three established National Parks, one of which, Kidepo, lies in North Kara-
moja District. All these Parks have an abundance and variety of game animals
and varied birdlife as well and one will immediately question what basis
exists for the creation of another Park when eastern Uganda is already served
by the Kidepo National Park, as apart from the capital costs involved in the
creation of a Park there is also its viability as a tourist attraction to consider
as this is the basic reason for the creation of any park in East Africa.
One may first look at the potential of east Karamoja as a tourist attrac-
tion and accordingly examine what the area possesses that are unique to it.
Uganda's existing Parks feature a grassland type of scenery with, in two in-
stances, the addition of some lake and river scenery, Kidepo Park is essenti-
ally a wooded grassland environment. Unlike Kenya, Uganda does not at
the present time possess a Park situated in a semi-arid environment or what
could be termed, bushland. By contrast most of Kenya's Parks are situated in
just such semi-arid country and are immensely popular. The area of east
Karamoja proposed here is semi-arid country and accordingly a Park situated
in it would offer the tourist an entirely different type of scenery from the
existing Parks in Uganda. Thus on this merit alone the creation of a new
Park might be justifiable.
The area outlined, however, also includes the periphery of Moroto
mountain with the exclusion of the Moroto township and environs. While
other Parks in Uganda have mountains close by, such as Ruwenzori Nation-
al Park and while part of Mount Morongole lies in Kidepo National Park they
are not in truth part of the Park's environment as no access into the moun-
tain exists in the form of a maintained track or road and no camping facilities
are provided. The inclusion of Moroto mountain, therefore, as part of the
Park unit would provide a second type of environment not accessible in any
of the existing Parks in Uganda but existing in Kenya both at the Mount
Marsabit and Mount Elgon National Parks. Kenya has already seen the
potential tourist attraction of some of its mountains.
It is now established that there is a dual environment in the proposed
area not paralleled in any existing Park in Uganda, but of course there are
many other factors to consider. One of those is the density and distribution
of population within the proposed area and should there be a sizeable popula-
tion within the area then this would be a serious drawback to the establish-
ment of a Park. In fact the eastern part of Karamoja as outlined in the
sketch map is entirely unoccupied except for the indigenous mountain dwel-
lers, the Tepes of Moroto mountain who are by law obliged to live below
the 1500 m contour. The creation of a Park, therefore, to include Moroto
mountain would be enormously helpful in combatting what at the present
time constitutes dangerous over-exploitation of the grazing and destruction
of the natural forest. Likewise extension of a Park into what is at present
completely unutilised land would be clearly desirable. The proposed Park
would, therefore, be desirable in developing unused assets and would promote
conservation on Moroto mountain.
The extension of a Park into eastern Karamoja would have a further
great advantage, it would act as a buffer between the populated parts of
central Karamoja and the warlike Turkana in Kenya. The present state of
affairs when the depredations of the Turkana are so great and widespread is
that there can be no progress in the district until their depredations are stop-
ed. The opening up of roads and tracks in the area with the establishment
of posts and wireless communication would be of enormous help to the
security forces and the Turkana would find that what is at present, practically
a perfect haven, would change to a dangerous environment and they would
no longer be able to roam and pillage at will.
Creating a Park from a wilderness costs money, particularly if one has a
Network of tracks and boundaries to put in. The proposed area though, has
already two natural boundaries. The first of these is the Turkana escarpment
which runs in a north-south direction all along the length of the proposed
Park on its eastern side. The second is the basal periphery of Moroto moun-
tain which has a demarcated forest line as well. These constitute the eastern
and southern boundaries and there would remain the demarcation of the
northern and western boundaries. This would not be an arduous or expensive
operation and would involve the use of a grader or bulldozer over very level
terrain, the only obstacles being occasional drainage lines. Similarly the very
flat terrain of the eastern Karamoja plain lends itself to the easy provision
of graded tracks. However, the area is not a completely trackless wilderness.
There already exists both security tracks and dam access tracks and the
primary need is for inter-connecting tracks and up-grading of drifts and
seasonally-flooded river crossings. Access to the higher elevations of Moroto
mountain exist in the form of the Forest Department track that gives access
to the 2450 m Ilipath plateau, on the southern side of the mountain. This
would need considerable improvement but again it is already in existence.
There arises the question of accommodation, and here too, the proposed
Park would be adequately served by the 44-bed Mount Moroto hotel, in
fact the hotel may never be a paying proposition without the creation of a
Park. The situation of the hotel also lends itself to both access to the moun-
tain and to the plains lying as it does a convenient distance from both environ-
ments. Other accommodation in the form of thatched bandas could be erected
inexpensively adjacent to sources of permanent water. Two ideal sites exist.
The first of those is at Nakiloro some 21 km from Moroto on the northeast
side of Moroto mountain where a lovely wooded site adjacent to the Nakiloro
river exists. This is the Africa of the tourist brochures with large spreading
Acacias against a mountain background with a vast plain stretching out in
front. The second site exists near the forest camp on the Ilipath plateau on
Moroto mountain at an elevation of over 2500m. As a campsite, this place
may well be without parallel in East Africa. It has an incomparable setting
of patches of cedar forest interspersed with grassland, terminated abruptly
by massive cliffs, the whole giving the effect of being perched on a gigantic
table with magnificent views of the Karamoja plain south to Mount Elgon
and west to the Teso border. To the east one has the spectacle of the blue
Chemorongit mountains and to the north the peaks of Sogolimok and Sok-
The area of East Karamoja, north of Moroto mountain harbours season-
ally large herds of game animals of considerable variety. The commoner
species include Giraffe, Ostrich, Eland, Topi, and Grant's Gazelle, while
less commonly Zebra may be observed. Of outstanding interest, though, are
the presence of Beisa Oryx, they being found only in this part of Uganda
and are generally thought of as being one of Africa's rarer animals. Also
sharing this fame is the Greater Kudu, small numbers of which may be found
on the slopes of Moroto mountain and according to Karimojong infor-
mants they also inhabit the Magos Hills which are a feature of the area.
Lion, Leopard, and Cheetah, number the larger predators to be found in the
area. The less common animals include Bushbuck, Reedbuck, Warthog.
Bushpig, Lesser Kudu, and various cats including the Civet, Serval, Genet
and Caracal. Dikdik are common and likewise the Ground Squirrel while a
Squirrel with a distinctive tufted tail has been observed by the writer but not
identified. Hyrax, Mongoose, Porcupine and Hedgehog are also quite common
and nocturnally the spotted Hyena is locally common. Notably absent are
Rhinoceros and resident herds of Elephant, though single and small groups
of elephant are seen briefly almost every year around the Nakiloro river.
Moroto mountain, while not possesing large herds of game animals,
nevertheless has a wide range of animals, the commoner of which include
the Pattus and Vervet Monkey, Baboon, Hyrax, the Chandler's or Mountain
Reedbuck and Bushbuck. Naturally, one may chance to see the Spotted
Hyena, the Scaly Anteater and the Antbear, and on the south side of the
mountain the rare Striped Hyena. Of rarer occurrences are the herds of
Greater Kudu, Leopard and on forest fringes the Red-backed Duiker, while
in forest on the higher elevations the Giant Forest Hog may be glimpsed.
The writer believes he is the first person to record the presence of both the
Forest Hog and the Redbacked Duiker on Moroto mountain. On the sum-
mit plateau exist a relict herd of Impala found in 1956. Also to be seen in
grassland at high elevations is a Hare or possibly Rabbit differing in appear-
ance from the hare of the plains. It is also of interest to record that a sheep,
probably the Nubian Ibex is remembered by the old men, referring to it as
Etyenikoda, used to inhabit the cliffs and rocky promontories of Moroto moun-
ntain but was hunted to extinction sometime in the 1920's.
The range of birds in the proposed Park is very wide and includes a
number of species not to be found in any other Park in Uganda, in fact a
visit to the area to see the birdlife alone could well be justified. In the dry
Acacia habitat of the eastern plains and on the slopes of the Mogos hills
there is an incredible range of colourful and interesting birds, the largest of
these being the Ostrich which occurs in considerable numbers in the short
PROPOSED GAME PARK
*-- International boundary
- Proposed Park boundary
/ Proposed Park area
0 Miles 15
A 0 Km 24
grass of the eastern plains. Birds of prey include the Secretary Bird often been
in open grassy areas, the rufous Fox Kestrel around cliffs and inselbergs and
a range of other birds including the Greater Kestrel the Martial Eagle, the
Long-Crested Hawk Eagle, the Lizard Buzzard, the Black-Chested Harrier
Eagle, the Bateleur, the Shikra and the Pale Chanting Goshawk. Game birds
are also richly represented and include the rare Hildebrandt's Francolin on
rocky outcrops, the Scaly Francolin, Yelllow-Necked Spurfowl, Vulturine
Guinea-Fowl, the rare Kori Bustard, the White-Bellied Bustard, the Black-
Bellied Bustard, and include a number of extremely rare ones which the
tourist would have little opportunity of seeing anywhere else in East Africa.
Foremost among these is the huge Lammergeyer Vulture which may be
observed circling at high elevations on Moroto Mountain, this is not found
in any other Park in Uganda. Similarly the Egyptian Vulture occasionally
nests on the cliffs of the Ilipath Plateau, this too is a very rare bird. Other
birds of prey include the Tawny Eagle and the Lanner Falcon. The range of
birds cannot be paralleled in any other Park in Uganda and this again is a
salient point in favour of the creation of a Park.
In the writer's mind endless vistas of tall grass such as one finds in
Uganda's existing Parks are not as interesting as the much more varied
scenery of arid thornbush with its rich variety of succulent plants alternating
with open grassy stretches which may be dotted with 'Wait a Bit' or 'Whist-
ing Thorn'. A tourist is unlikely to get enthusiastic over the sight of a
Combretum but he might well pose in front of a graceful Acacia. He would
find just the type of Acacia woodland that figures prominently in tourist
brochures in Kenya along the banks of the Nakiloro and Masupu rivers, in
fact he would gain access to some of the finest stands of Acacia woodland
that exist in East Africa, containing superb specimens of Acacia albida A.
gerrardii and A. tortilis. While in the thornbush itself there are a further six
different species including the rare Acacia bussesi. Mention has been made
of succulent plants and here again there is an abundant variety embracing
more than thirteen general and forty different species. One does not have
to be an ardent 'cactus' collector to be impressed with the scene, though this
area would satisfy many such collectors' dreams. The ubiquitous Sansevieria
ehrenbergii with its bayonet-like stems, the imposing Euphorbia grandicornis
and the spectacular 'Desert Rose' (Adenium obseum), are all present and
once seen are unlikely to be forgotten. Mention might also be made of the
abundance of Aloes of which there are no less than six different species in-
cluding the rare A. wrefordii which occurs only in the proposed Park area
and nowhere else. Many other beautiful plants are also present-salient among
them being Tribulus terrestris which in April may carpet large areas with
a vivid yellow and Pentanisia ouranogyne with its vivid blue flowers, com-
bine with more than seven hundred different species of plants to produce an
immensely colourful scene.
The flora of Moroto mountain is of course quite different but again no
less varied and possibly the most outstanding features here are the stands of
forest on the higher elevations. These are dominated by three main species
Oliva (Olea chrysophylla), the lovely East Africa Cedar (Juniperus procera)
and the imposing Podo (Podocarpus gracilior), specimens of the latter two
reaching a height of over 30m on the Ilipath plateau. Numerous orchids
festoon the branches, the commonest being Rangaeris amanieusis with its
sweet-scented white flowers and hanging from the branches particularly
where exposed to winds is the lichen Usnea sp. On forest margins one
finds many colourful shrubs including Cinereria grandiflora, Erlangea
tomentosa, Microglossa elliottii and Senecio petitianus among many others.
In grassland there is a profusion of colourful herbs, many of them aromatic,
the commonest including Berkheya spekeana, Diplolophium africanum,
Echinops hispidus, Hebenstretia dentata, Helichrysum foetidum, Pentas
lanceolata, Satureja pseudosimensis and Wahleubergia silenoides. While
others which relate to European flora including Alchemilla elgonesis, Arabis
alpine, Clematis hirsuta, Delphinium macrocentrum, Gladiolus watsonioides,
Hypericum roeperianum and Trifolium lugardii. On cliff tops and rocky out-
crops one has a further profusion of flowering shrubs and herbs including
the lovely Canarina abyssinia and the aromatic Plectanthus cyanerus to men-
tion a few. While a very specialised succulent flora occurs on rocky outcrops
including Aloe wilsonii, Crassula pentandra var. phyturus, Huernia aspera
var. keniensis, Monadenium stapelioides, Plectranthus, and Sarcostemma sp.
Special mention must be made of the occurrence of the bulbous lily Buphone
disticha with its exceptionally beautiful mauve to crimson flower and spoke-
like fruit which is found in grassland. Two salient trees occur on the Ilipath
plateau and on the higher elevations in grassland, the first is Protea gaguedi
which may be seen from 2100 to 2500m, which bears a profusion of white
flowers 10-13 cm in diameter. This is the 'Sugar-Bush' of South Africa and
is one of the best known tropical trees. The second is a tree called Dombeya
rotundifolia which once or twice a year sheds its leaves and then comes out
in a mass of white or pink blossom equalling if not excelling the Cherry-
Tree. It occurs at elevations from 1500-2500m.
The flora of Moroto mountain in its tremendous variety and colour is
if anything captured on the Ilipath plateau and the heights of Sogolimok
above it and with the backdrop of magnificent peaks, plunging valleys and
an aerial view of the plains far below make this place unique in East Africa.
It could easily become one of East Africa's salient attractions with such
unparalleled scenery and bracing climate and the presence of permanent
water on the plateau itself makes the establishment of a permanent camp or
lodge an attractive idea. The proposed Park has still further attractions that
few other Parks in East Africa can offer, if at all. The first of these are the
Miocene fossil beds at Nakiloro discovered in 1958. This is an obvious tour-
ist attraction and while the site would have to be suitably protected from
unauthorised exploitation, the beds themselves could be made readily acces-
sible. Another attractive feature of the area is the abundance of archaeological
phenomena throughout the eastern plains area. Prehistoric rock drawings
occur at a site known as Lokapeliethe and another occurs at Loteteleit. Since
these discoveries more sites on which rock drawings occur have been found
and connected archaeological phenomena such as stone circles have been re-
cognised. Such sites would figure high on any tourist's itinerary and make
this area again distinctive from other Parks.
In Kenya where tourism is more developed than in Uganda, the industry
has proliferated into many specialised divisions. While the main attraction
is still the wild animals of the Parks themselves, increasing attention is being
paid to scenic attractions as well. While individual safari businesses have
appeared that can tailor a safari to suit special interests of entolomogists,
ornithologists or zoologists. This of course is specialisation by individual
enterprise and is obviously outside the scope of a Park organisation. How-
ever, there would appear to be scope for some specialisation in the proposed
Matheniko Park where there is abundance of semi-precious gem stones such
as chalcedony, garnets and zircons which are not an economic mining pro-
position so permits might be issued for a nominal fee to what the Americans
term 'rock hounds', or those who collect minerals as a hobby. There is a
growing interest in collecting minerals in the western world and the Mathe-
niko Park could prove a rewarding area for such people. One might also
consider the sale of succulent plants to tourists through a Park Nursery.
APPENDIX I: LIST OF MAMMALS.
Patas Monkeys ... ... ... ... ... ...Erythrocebus patas
Baboon ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Papio anubis furax
Grey black-faced grivet monkly (misnamed the vervet) ... Cercopithecus aethops
Temminck's lesser ground pangolin ... ... ... ...Mani temminckfi
African Ant-bear ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Orycteropus after
East African Hare ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Lepus capensis
East African Crested Porcupine ... ... ... ... ..Hystrix galeata
Pallid ground squirrel ... ... ... ... ... Xerus erythropus
Side-striped Jackal ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Canis adustus
African Givet ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Civettictis dvetta
Bush Genet ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Genetto tigrina
East African White-tailed Mongoose ... ... ... ..Ichneumia Albicauda
Striped Hyena ... ... ... ... ... ..Hyaena hyaena
Spotted Hyena ... ... ... ... ... ... .Crocuta crocuta
Aard-Wolf ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ..Proteles cristatus
Caracal ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..Felix caracal
Serval ... ... ... ... ... .. ... .Felix serval
Lion ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .Panthera leo
Leopard ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .Panthera pardus
Cheetah ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .Acnonyx jubatus
Ant-bear (Aard-Vark) ... ... ... .. Orycteropus after
African Elephant ... ... ... ... ... .. .. Loxodonta africana
Hyrax ... .. .. ... ... ... Procavia capensis
Black Rhinoceros ... ... ... ... ... .. Doceros bicornis
African Bush Pig ... ... ... ... ... ... Potamochoerus porcus
Giant Forest Hog ... ... ... ... Hylochoerus
Wart-Hog ... ..... ... ... .. Phaeochoerus
Uganda Giraffe ... ... ..... ... Giraffe camelpardalis
Black Buffalo ... ... ... ... ... Syncerus cafer
East African Eland ... ... ... ... ... .Taurotragus oryx
Greater Kudu ... ... ... ... ... ... ..Strepsiceros strepslceros
Lesser Kudu ... ... ... ... ... ... Strepsiceros imberbis
Harnessed Bushbuck ... ... ... ... ... ...Tragelaphus scriptus bor
Bush Duiker ... ... ... ... ... ... Sylvicapra grimmia
Yellow-Backed Duiker ... ... ... ... ... ..Cephalophus sylvicutrix
Chandler's Mountain Reedbuck ... ... ... ... ...Redunca fulvorufula
Beisa Oryx ... ... ...... Oryx beisa
Jackson's Hartebeest .. Alcelaphus buselaphus
Topi ...... ...... Damaliscus korrigum
Uganda Oribi ... ... ...... Ourebia ourebi
Klipspringer ...... ..Oreotragus oreotragus
Long-Snouted Dikdik ... ... ... ... Thynchotragus kirkii
Bright's Gazelle (Grant's) ... Gazella grant brightii
Fmpala ... ... ... ... ... ... Aepyceros melampus
APPENDIX 2: LIST OF BIRDS
Ostrich ... .. ... ... ... ... .Struthio camelus
Secretary Bird ... ... ... ... ... ... .Sagittarius sepentarius
Egyptian Vulture ... ... ... ... ... ... Neophron percnopterus
Lammergeyer ... ... .. ... .. ... .. Cypaetus barbatus
Lanner Falcon ... .. .. ... ... .. Falco biarmicus
Fox Kestrel ... .. ... ... ... ... ... .. Falco alepex
Greater Kestrel ... ... ... ... ... ... .. Falco rupiciloides
Tawny Eagle ... ... ... ... ... ... Aquila rapax
Martial Eagle ... ... ... ... ... .. Polemaetus bellicosus
Long-Crested Hawk Eagle ... ... ... ... .. Lophoaetus eccipitalis
Lizard Buzzard ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Kaupifalco
Black-Chested Harrier Eagle ... ... ... ... ...Circaetus pectoralis
Bateleur ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Terathopius ecaudatus
Shikra ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Accipiter badius
Pale Chanting Goshawk ... ... ... ... ... ... Melierax poliopterus
Hildebrandt's Francolin ... ... ... ... ... .. Francolinus hildebrandti
Scaly Francolin ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Francolinus squamotus
Chestnut-Naped Francolin ... ... ... ... ...Francolinus
Yellow-Necked Spurfowl .. ... ... ... ...Pternistis leucoscepus
Vulturine Guinea-Fowl ... ... ... ... ... ...cryllium vulturinum
Kori Bustard ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Ardeotis kori
White-Bellied Bustard ... ... ... ... ... ...Eupodotis senegalensis
Black-Bellied Bustard .. ... ... ... ... ...Lissotis melanogaster
Hartlaub's Bustard ... ... ... ... ... ... ...L. hartlaubii
Spotted Stone Curlew .. .. ... ... ... .. Burhinus capensis
Crowned Lapwing ... ... ... ... ......Stephanibyx coronatus
Spurwing Plover ... ... ... ... ... ... .. Hoplopterus spinosus
Black-Headed Plover ... ... ... ... ... ...Sarciophorus tectus
Quail Plover ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Ortyxelos meiffrenii
Pink-Breasted Dove ... ... ... ... ... ...Streptopelia lugens
Ring-Necked Dove ... ... ... ... ... ...S. capicola
Laughing Dove ... ... ... ... ... ...S. senegalensis
Namaqua Dove ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Oena capensis
Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove ... ... ... ... ...Turtur chalcospilos
White-Crested Turaco ... ... ... ... ... .. Tauraco leucolophus
Ross's Turaco ... ... ... ... ... ... ...Musophaga rossae
White-Bellied Go-Away Bird ... ... ... ...Corythaixoides
Lilac Breasted Roller ... ... ... ... ... ...Coracia caudata
Rufous-Crowned Roller ... ... ... ... ... ...C. naevia
Pygmy Kingfisher ... .. ... ... ... ... Ispidina picta
Swallow-Tailed Bee-Eater ... ... ... ... ...Dicrocercus hirundineus
Red-Billed Hornbill ...... ... ...Tockus erythrorhyncus
Jackson's Hornbill ... ... ...... ... T. jacksonii
Crowned Hornbill ... ... ... ......T. alboterminatus
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill ... ... ... ... ...Bucorvus abyssinicus
Senegal Hoopoe ......... ...Upupa epops
Green Wood Hoopoe .... ...... ..Phoeniculus purpureus
Red and Yellow Barbet .
Uganda Swallow ...
Curly-Crested Helmet Shrike ...
Fan-Tailed Raven ....
Rupell's Long-Tailed Starling ..
Redwing Starling ......
Superb Starling ......
Malachite Sunbird ......
Tacazze Sunbird ... ...
Variable Sunbird ... ...
Mariqua Sunbird ......
Amethyst Sunbird ....
White-Headed Buffalow Weaver ...
Somali Golden-Breasted Bunting
... .. ... ...Indicatot indicator
... ... ...Dendropicos fuscescens
... ... ... Apus aequatorialis
... ... ... ...Oenanthe isabellina
... ... ... ...Thamnolea
.. ... ...Hirundo rustic
... ... ... ...Prionops plumata
... ... ...Rhinocorax rhipidurus
... ...Lamprotornis puropters
... ... ... ...Onychognanthus morio
... ... ... ...Spreo superbus
... ... ... ...Nectarinia famosa
... ... ... ...N. taccaze
... ... ... ...Cinnyris venustus
... ... ... ...C. mariquensis
... ... ... ...Chalcomitra amethystina
... ... ... ...Dinemellia dinemelli
... ... ... ...Emberiza poliopleura
JOHN MACALLISTER AND THE TOWN OF MBARARA 1898-1900
By D. WEEKS
This article enquires into the origins of Mbarara, the major town of
Ankole, in western Uganda. The East Africa Royal Commission of 1955
asserted that as new areas were brought under European administration,
headquarters were set up which were the origin of many of the larger towns
of East Africa today.' As Dr. Twaddle has shown with respect to Mbale
this conclusion is not entirely true. He makes it clear that further studies
on the establishment of other towns will be necessary before any conclusions
can be drawn about the real origins of East African towns.2 The case of
Mbarara upholds the opinion of the Commission, so that Mbale would seem
to be exceptional.3
While at Mbale the site was merely "one part of a narrow belt of no
man's land" before Kakungulu occupied it in 1902. and it was two years
before the European administration moved there, the situation at Mbarara
was the reverse. It is true that the site on which the town eventually devel-
oped had certainly been occupied before the European penetration, but it
had been abandoned as a centre. Here it was the native government which
moved to Mbarara only after the establishment of the civil post, and as a
direct result of it.
In order to understand the origins of the present town of over 16.000
inhabitants it is necessary to enquire into the circumstances in which the
European administration was extended to include Ankole in 1896, although
this did not begin to become effective until 1898. The establishment of the
civil station at Mbarara dates from this time and is a continuity of
development, which includes the proclamation of a township in 1906, lasting
to the present-day. At the same time the earlier occupance the site can bo
Two local historians record that "When the Mugabe Ntare V left
Kaigoshora, a place of rinderpest, he settled at Muti (present Mbarara
Township)".4 The Mugabe was living here at the time when Lugard passed
through to the north in June 1891.5 It was here that the dreaded outbreak
of Omuze Gwa Muti (the Muti smallpox) broke out and which killed so
many of the leading people, including Ntare's son Kabumbire. However,
this place of unhappy memories was abandoned, and Ntare later occupied
a site across the river at Katete. He also lived for a time at Kaburangire
(about four miles towards Masaka) and at a site adjacent to the Muti one
which was called after the grass, Mburara.
Lugard was concerned with Ankole because of his desire to prevent arms
and ammunition coming into Buganda by this route and to promote trade
"by means of a treaty with Ntali to this end, and by establishing, if possible
stations in his country."6 The first of these objectives was achieved by the
treaty and blood-brotherhood (omukago) made in Nabushozi but "I had
abandoned the idea of building a station in Ankole, at least for the present,
for there was no food for a garrison. Moreover the station would naturally
be built at the capital; and as this proved to be so far south and out of my
route, I decided not to visit it now."7
Then in 1893 two significant things happened. The first is described by
Scott Elliot: "A German expedition, under Captain Langheld, had, for
purposes which I do not understand, passed through Ankole a short time
before my arrival (March 1894). The leader wished, contrary to the express-
ed desire of Antari, to proceed to the latter's capital, and was in consequ-
ence attacked."s As a result of this Ntare appealed for the protection pro-
mised in Lugard's treaty.9 The second was Sir Gerald Portal's mission to
Uganda, the report of which was published in March 1894. As a result the
decision was taken which led to the declaration of the Uganda Protectorate
over the Kingdom of Buganda.
The arrangements in the adjoining areas of "Koki, Ankole, Bunyoro and
Busoga" were to "be limited to the agreements with the Chiefs which may
be required for maintaining friendly relations and alliance between them
and the Protectorate for securing facilities for trade and for suppressing the
In order to carry out these instructions Colonel Colvile arrived in
Buganda in November 1893, and proclaimed the Protectorate at Mengo on
27 August 1894. Two days later Major G. G. Cunningham (Derby Regiment)
signed a new treaty with Ntare.
Colvile sent Cunningham to Ankole because he believed "that a con-
siderable trade in arms and ammunition passed through Ankole on its way
to Kabarega" and thus "was anxious to place a small post there to stop
it."" At the same time he did not wish to alienate Ntare and no garrison
was to be left there without his full consent. As it turned out this was not
forthcoming and no post was established, but in his report Cunningham
gave his opinion that "with regard to a post to stop illicit trade, I think it
should be at Ntali's."n1 In fact the new treaty achieved little more than that
of Lugard. These treaties have been described as "the smartest confidence
trick that all empire builders used in this region. It was a trick, because it
is not clear that the rulers had any idea of what these treaties were all
about."1 Leaving aside Stanley's extraordinary claim to have been given
Nkore. hv Ntare, the fairness of such criticisms can be challenged. Ntare
was sufficiently aware of the contents of his dealings with Lugard to re-
member them when Germans entered his territory, and Cunningham's treaty
was to lead to an anpeal to the Protectorate Government after Ntare's death.
Such treaties were part of the paraphernalia of the encounter between
the Banyankole and the British in which both sides were equally ignorant
of the language and customs of the other. By Dr. Karugire's definition both
the ceremonies of blood-brotherhood into which Stanley and Lugard were
pressed and the offer of marriage made to Macallister, were just as much
'tricks'. The Europeans involved clearly did not properly understand what
these rites involved. But to use the emotive work 'trick' is to miss the point
entirelv. The truth is that the two sides were poles aoart, and while the Ban-
yankole made alliances by marriage and by blood-brotherhood (as Dr. Ka-
rugire ably demonstrates), the British made alliances by printed treaty.
Neither side fully understood the other in these things, but that does not
mean that there was a deliberate deception. The plain fact is that the treaties
and the blood-brotherhoods were the first steps in building a bridge between
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
the two cultures. The surprising thing is not that they failed to understand
each other fully, but that they understood each other at all.
Cunningham's treaty made on the standard printed 'Treaty Form' of
the time, stated "That British subjects shall have free access to all parts of
Ankole, and shall have the right to build houses and pov ess property accord-
ing to the laws in force in this country; that they shall have full liberty to
carry on such trade or manufacture as may be approved by Her
Majesty... "14 Such provisions do not seem to have reflected very accurate-
ly the actual state of affairs. One part of the country to which British
subjects certainly did not have access was anywhere that Ntare himself
might be found. Despite attempts to lead him in the wrong direction. Cun-
ningham managed to get within "sight of Ntali's town," only to find that
the king had fled to the hills and "was decidedly averse to the establishment
of a post in his country."'I Certainly nothing was done by the British to
implement the treaty.
Ntare died in July 1895 and in the ensuing rivary for power two of the
leading princes (Bahinda), Kahitsi and Igumira, appealed to the Protectorate
Government and to the Kabaka on behalf of their candidate, Kahaya. The
difficulties of securing stability in areas such as Ankole, which were within
the British sphere but not included in the Protectorate, led to this being
extended in July 1896. Just as the I.B.E.A. Company had not been in a
position to assert itself in Ankole, neither was the new administration. Short
of both men and resources, the Commissioner was unable to spare anyone
to set up a new station, though he considered this to be very necessary "both
for the proper supervision of the province itself, and for the necessary "both
contraband trade in powder and caps, and the slave-raiding which, it cannot
well be doubted, still continues over the German frontier."'" The mission-
aries were also concerned, but unable to act .. .
Finally when the British penetrated into Ankole, it was a case of 'needs
must'. The Kabaka Mwanga fled from Mengo secretly on 5 July 1897, and
headed west. Ternan, the Acting Commissioner, mustered the available men
and sent them to Buddu. William Grant was in charge there and was given
this instruction: "though the present operations are not in any way con-
ducted for the purpose of the conquest of Ankole, you need have no hesita-
tion in entering that country if your operations should require it, particular-
ly if you are assured that it is affording help to the rebels."17 It was not
known what the attitude of the rulers of Ankole would be and accordingly
messengers were first sent. Kahaya was nominally the Omugabe but power
lay in the hands of the Regents, Igumira and Kahitsi, who had asked for
outside support in 1895. It seems that Kahitsi and Kahaya were against
helping the rebels, while Igumira was responsible for the contingent from
Ankole, led by "Vagooto (Mbaguta), the King of Ankole's Mujasi." who
had been fighting with the forces under Gabrieli Kintu.18 George Wilson,
the Acting Commissioner, added in his report to the Marquess of Salisbury
that, "mainly with a view to precipitating a change of policy on the part of
Ankole, I have also menaced that country with two armed forces, on its
northeastern and northwestern frontiers, under Cantain Sitwell and Mr.
Malek respectively."19 Whether this was the deciding factor, or not, Kahaya's
answer was again favourable to European intervention; Grant wrote to
Wilson that "it appears that Kahaya is most anxious that the rebels, includ-
ing the Wangoni, should be driven out of his country, but he thinks himself
not sufficiently powerful to do the work alone. He is willing (from all
accounts) to give me all the assistance in his power, and is ready to point
out where the rebels are hiding."20 During September 1897 Grant conducted
a chase after Kintu but failed to repeat the victory he had had over the rebels
at Nyendo hill, near Masaka on 23 August. After that experience the rebels
avoided a pitched battle, and largely managed to keep one step ahead of
Grant, even after he had divided his forces. Lieutenant Hobart's column in
particular did a lot of travelling in the eastern part of Ankole. By the end
of the month Grant was able to report to Wilson: "Came to the conclusion
that it was useless following them up as it might mean months of marching
and counter marching;" and added optimistically: "I feel inclined to think
that the rebels have had a severe punishment and that the few who are
now with Gabriel (Kintu) are only waiting for the opportunity to desert
It was these events which led to a curious report reaching Captain
Sitwell, the officer-in-charge in Toro. In his diary for the 26 September
1897 he writes: "Kagero says it is true that Katabarwa is dead, that a
European is in Ankole, that he has built a boma on the Ruwezi River
near Ntali's."22 This sounds as though it records the earliest European settle-
ment at what is now Mbarara. In fact a careful examination of evidence
shows that all the information Kagero gave was incorrect, though founded
on some fact. Katabarwa was amongst the wounded at Nyendo Hill, but he
certainly did not die of these wounds.23 Hobart reported to Grant that on
12 September he "camped for night on shore of lake northwest of lake
Villiers called by natives Kachera. On the 13th, hearing there was a deep
swampy river, known as the Ludzi (Ruizi), to our south, we marched to the
north end of the lake On the 14th we moved down the east shore of
the lake learned that Katabulua and the principal rebel leaders who
were with him had already effected their escape into German territory."24
It was this activity which presumably gave rise to Kagero's report.
Hobart continued in the area of east Ankole but by the end of Sep-
tember the Acting Commissioner had his hands full in another direction.
The Sudanese rebellion had broken out, and once again it became impossible
to think seriously of setting up an administration in a new area.
Attention was once more centred on Ankole at the end of the year
when Mwanga escaped from German territory and was reported to be in
that area with a large number of guns. Sitwell received orders to cut off
Mwanga's route to the north by holding the Bwera-Lwenkula frontier, but
later moved down into Ankole where he narrowly missed Kintu in March.
A month later (April 1898) he missed him again at Ruaboyo, at which
point he was recalled to Lwenkula.2 Kintu continued to give trouble and
in the middle of 1898 Captain M. J. Tighe was sent to Masaka with Hobart
under him. "Gabriel was reported to be planning an evasive withdrawal into
Ankole, with the object of enticing the punitive expedition after him and
then doubling back to devastate the defenceless Buddu Province. The
attitude of Kahaya, the young ruler of Ankole, was doubtful, so an ultima-
tum was despatched allowing him twenty days to confirm his loyalty, failing
which Ankole would be declared hostile territory Kahaya's answer
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
reached Kabula in September, promising co-operation and hoping that a
post would be maintained permanently at Kabula and another in Ankole."26
Wilson informed the Commissioner that "Ankole responded to the ultima-
tum sent by me in August by immediately detailing a useful local force to
assist Captain Tighe, and its rulers have proved, throughout, their readiness
to come under the protection of the Administration. Captain Tighe has
reported the practical termination of the Buddu-Ankole active operations."27
Tighe's military operations were successful, at least as far as Ankole was
concerned, and Ternan was able to report to the Commissioner in January
1899 that "while commanding in Ankole he effectually cleared the country
of rebels."28 Thus the way was at last prepared for the setting up of an
However it was not just military operations that had been necessary.
Afterwards Tighe claimed an allowance for the time when he "assumed
political control (more particularly in connection with the King of Ankole)"
and gave the dates as 27 August to 16 October. Meanwhile Berkeley had
become convinced that "the situation in the southwestern corner of this
Protectorate makes it practically imperative that administrative charge of
Ankole should be taken in hand without delay. This has long been a project
but has had to be continually set aside for want of officials and troops."
Advised by the O.C. Troops that a company would shortly be available,
Berkeley decided to make the necessary officials available. He had planned
to send Macallister (First Class Assistant) to resume the civil charge of
Unyoro, but now felt himself forced by a situation which "was becoming
nothing less than intolerable" to "arrange that Mr. Macallisier will proceed
to Antali's with an assistant and the company in question, there to take
charge of the district of Ankole."29
Though there is nothing in the official correspondence, it seems that
Macallister may have visited Ankole while Tighe was in charge there or
even earlier, and then returned to Kampala to make the necessary prepara-
tions. This assertion is often made in local discussions of these events and
in a private letter to Stanley Tomkins dated 6 May 1898 from Port Victoria
where he was on a brief visit Macallister wrote "I leave here to go to
At the end of September, Berkeley left on a tour of the eastern districts
and informed the Foreign Office from Mumias that "Mr. Macallister was
about to leave Kampala to take up his duties in that district (Ankole) the
chiefs and people of which appear to have made up their minds to side
with the Administration."31
However there was to be further delay, this time caused by the un-
expected rebel activity in the north in which Lieutenant Hannyngton was
badly wounded and Kizalizi fort "invested." Wilson, left in charge at
Kampala, found it necessary to "recall the company of the 27th Bombay
Infantry from Buddu, and to despatch with Captain Fowler, the half com-
pany of Uganda Rifles intended for Ankole. These movements must of
course have a detrimental effect on the position in Buddu and Ankole, where
affairs had assumed, as I have previously stated, a most satisfactory aspect."32
Doubtless it had been intended that Macallister should take over
politically as soon as Tighe left Ankole, but inspite of this further frust-
ration he continued to make preparations and sent in estimates "for the
district of Ankole 1899-1900" on 1 November.33 Finally it was 2 December
1898 before his party was able to leave Kampala on its way westward.3
"The party was met at the frontier by Mbaguta with a party of his Aba-
gonya. As Mbaguta afterwards explained, Macallister's arrival was not at
all welcome to certain sections of the community. Nevertheless the march to
Mbarara was accomplished without incident."35
Before embarking on the details of his activities in Ankole, something
must be said about the man appointed to the task. Born in 1862, Robert
John Dudley Macallister was trained as an engineer under Mr. J. A. C.
Hay and afterwards gained experience in railway construction in Britain
before being appointed as Executive Engineer to I.B.E.A. Company in July
1890."36 He was responsible for laying a tramway across Mombasa Island,
and with C. W. Hobley, for a narrow gauge railway to Maseras, where he
discovered some argentiferous galena lodes. On 31 August 1894 he was
appointed an Administrative Officer in the new Uganda Protectorate pro-
claimed four days earlier. At first he worked at Entebbe and then in 1895
he was responsible for the setting up of the civil station at Port Victoria,
being made Vice-Consul at the end of that year. Early in 1897 he went on
leave and so missed the more urgent days of the mutiny. On his return,
being among the most experienced officers at Berkeley's disposal, and one
of only four First Class Assistants, he went to Ankole as Sub-Commissioner
for the new district. In August 1900 he again received a pioneering role,
this time as first Sub-Commissioner for the new Nile Province. His last
appointment before retiring on medical grounds on 31 December 1904 was
in the Western Province as Sub-Commissioner, from which position he was
able to observe the very considerable changes which had taken place in
Ankole since he had first gone there.37 Thereafter he made his headquarters
in Nairobi, and was prospecting in the Semliki valley when he died of
dysentery on 11 April 1909, being buried at Fort Portal. Richard Baile, his
assistant in Ankole, paid a considerable tribute to him when, after eighteen
months together in their pioneer situation he wrote "I have not the slightest
desire to be transferred to another district. Everything goes along smoothly
and I have never had the slightest friction with Mr. Macallister "
Locally he was given a name in Runyankole which has been explained
in this way: "Mr. Macallister was a tall and a stout figure, so huge that the
Natives feared and nicknamed him the 'Thicket' or the 'Bush' or 'Shrub';
in vernacular 'Kisaka'."38
This then was the man who set out with instructions to hold and form
a consular court at "Ntali's" or some more suitable station as he decided
in due course.39 Though Ntare's kraal was located in different places at
different times, there can be little doubt that what the British meant by
"Ntali's" was in the region of the Muti hills where Ntare had been living
during the times when Lugard and Cunningham had made treaties with his
representatives, even though there was some uncertainty, especially on maps,
as to exactly where it was.
Macallister arrived at Muti on 18 December 1898 and on 1 January
1899 was able to request Berkeley "to appoint Mbarara as the place."40
The question then arises as to the reasons for the choice of this site. There
were three. First of all it was available. Having been vacated by Ntare it
had not been re-occupied as a capital site. There was no question arising
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
MBARARA SITE :
/ ..** **;.. .........th Adapted from '
S.." '' '. '.; .- the Military Intelligence moa
I ** 1906
i ./ / Site ofN ................
S Muti Orurembo .-so- Contours above the
SMU ti Orurembo: : river (10 ft interval)
0 Metres 90
S.... Site of Ntare's
.. .. '. '' '" rurembo
...... ...... ........:
C.M.S Mission 1200yards ..
/ .. ........ .. .. ....... ... e. .
S ... ... ... .........
W F Mission F Nt res K t
r.....b.... .. ... .. .: :
S." Coll ect rat 2miies
WF issiot ,,,= ,, :1. ar.. or .
over the ownership of the land as Dr. Karugire quotes categorically that
"the Omugabe owns everything in his Kingdom"41 and as already seen
Macallister had not come as a conqueror, but at the invitation of Kahaya
and escorted by Mbaguta. So the land was free to be used for the building
of the government station. Secondly, it was suitable. It had the advantage
of a commanding position, and could be defended. There was a perennial
water supply and it was centrally situated in the district. The Omugabe was
situated reasonably close at hand at Rushasha, and the trade route from
German East Africa ran close by, control of trade being an important factor.
Thirdly, it was already known to the British. As we have seen both Lugard
and Cunningham had concluded that any post established should be "at
Ntali's". Therefore there was no need to spend much time in seeking out
a suitable place, and Macallister was able to go straight to the spot and
commence work. He pitched his tents on the Muti site, appointed it as "the
place," and called it Mbarara. At the same time he was able to report that
"I am endeavouring to build a station, and stores, but owing to the scarcity
of tools, it will take a considerable time to complete them. A thorn zereba,
as a temporary measure has been made, and the Europeans, Government
stores, and half company of troops are safe in case of a night attack."42
Two sites are described here. The zereba was on the highest of the
three summits of the Muti hills, that is the southerly one. In 1907, Major
E. M. Jack (Royal Engineers) of the Boundary Commission wrote a des-
cription of Mbarara. With an eye for both military and topographical details
he described this hill "on which the first fort that was ever made .... was
built."43 The summit of this certainly provided a commanding defensive
position, devoid as it was of anything but grass" and with an all-round
field of fire for about five hundred yards, though water from the Ruizi was
a little further off. The site of this fort is still marked by several rather
ancient jacarandas which have survived the building of the municipal water-
tank, on this highest point. The hill top could not have accommodated, even
temporarily, the number of men Macallister had with him, and they doubt-
less camped below the fort, which as it turned out was never needed in
Macallister goes on to describe the second site, which he wisely chose
on flatter ground, and which he had already selected for the building of the
station and stores: "The station ground I have selected is on the spur of a
hill overlooking the River Ruizi, a stream of about 40 feet wide, and at
low water about 4 feet deep, and within half mile of the main road from
Kitangoli to Toru, and Unyoro, through Ankole. The King's village is about
3 hours distant, the climate should be healthy and there is a large popula-
tion of natives, both Wanyoro and Wahima."45 Clearly this is the area
enclosed by a ditch which can still be seen between the present prison and
D.C.'s Office, and is described in the Government Handbook for 1913 "The
original boma was built well down on the slopes of the hill by the site
of an old kraal of Ntale."46 It is in fact situated to the south of the southerly
summit, whereas Ntare's kraal had been on the eastern slopes of the north-
ern summit, a few hundred yards away, about opposite the present Grind-
lays Bank building.47
As a site for a station and later for a town, Muti possessed several
advantages, including its commanding position near the river which could
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
be forded and later bridged and its position at an emerging route centre on
the road from Toro to German East Africa (Kitangole). The control of such
trade as already existed had been a factor in its choice. Though the tradi-
tional kingdom of Nkore was not synonymous with the British creation
of modern Ankole, nevertheless it is a fact that Muti is central in both; a
decided advantage when travel was on foot, but of more than passing signi-
The reference to a large population of natives is rather surprising, and
one wonders whether their presence was due to settlement or curiosity.
Certainly food supply was to cause problems in the early years of the grow-
ing community as Lugard had foreseen.
J. J. Willis, one of the first C.M.S. missionaries in the area, who could
be an outspoken critic of officials, wrote that "It would not be exactly easy
to say why they ever selected Mbarara as the capital. The more one journeys
about, the more one is impressed with the fact that they seem to have hit
on the one spot in all Ankole where you have to march a whole day or two
days before you come on any cultivation worth the name."48 Indeed during
Macallister's, time early in 1900, Fisher and most of the troops had to leave
Mbarara temporarily in order to find food elsewhere.49 Later in the same
year, a month after Macallister's departure, Herbert Clayton commented
"Food is very scarce at Mbarara. There are so many people in connection
with the Europeans to be fed, a company of Sudanese soldiers, some 130
police, porters, boys, etc. There is no cultivation round the capital but only
the Bahima cow kraals, where the king and his chiefs and their attendants
live, and all the food has to be brought in from these same hills."50 However
this was a problem that could be remedied. Mbaguta, who is well remember-
ed for his vigorous encouragement of cultivation, said in a statement made
about the end of 1905 that, "Before the establishment of a Government
station at Mbarara there were severe famines in the country. These are
becoming yearly less severe.""
There can be no doubt that Macallister chose the Muti site for his
headquarters. Why then did he call it by another name? The reason for
him appointing "Mbarara as the place" must have been due to a slight
confusion resulting from his enquiries about the location of "Ntali's". The
last site in the immediate vicinity occupied by this Omugabe was Mburara,
while Macallister was now establishing himself adjacent to an earlier oru-
rembo of Ntare V at Muti. The corruption of the name to Mbarara is
usually blamed on the inability of the first Europeans to get names right,
and for which Willis also took them to task.52 This is very probably the
case, and not so surprising when they spoke only Swahili and were dealing
with an unknown language which was not written; but it is a little surprising
to find Banyankole historians speaking of Ntare's site and using the same
corrupted name,53 but perhaps this shows that the corruption has now be-
come acceptable. At all events there has been a permanent settlement here
bearing this name for over seventy years.
Macallister left Mbarara on 21 August 1900 "to proceed to the Nile
Provinces."" The town was officially declared a Township on 26 June 1906,
along with ten other towns in Uganda headed by Kampala.55 The least
that can be said is that by this time Mbarara had become sufficiently esta-
blished to warrant inclusion in the list. In his Medical Report for that same
year (1906) Dr. Lowsley divided it into four areas "European quarters,
troops, missions, and natives.""56 Strictly speaking, according to the Town-
ship Proclamation, only the first two of these came within the area laid
down. However Dr. Lowsley's analysis seems to be more realistic, though
he included traders under his first heading because of their proximity to
The development of Mbarara during the early months of 1899 can be
considered with respect to four functions (i) European administration,
including troops, (ii) native administration, (iii) trade and (iv) missionary
activity. This will reveal how much had been achieved during Macallister's
time, and how much these activities owed to the setting up of a Government
station at this place.
The European administration really commenced with Macallister's
arrival at the site on 18 December 1898. There is no record of his third-
class assistant, Richard Baile arriving later, and so clearly they travelled
together as Berkeley had intended.57 Nor is there any record of who the
other Europeans were in the party, though from Macallister's reports during
the following weeks it is certain that Captain A. A. Fisher (West Yorks
Regt) was commanding the troops of No. 6 Company, Uganda Rifles, and
that Lieutenant H. C. Moorhouse (Royal Artillery) was with him.58 These
then were clearly the "four European officials in Ankole" mentioned by the
missionary, Herbert Clayton, as he closely watched the developing situa-
tion from neighboring Koki.59
The state of the country was fairly unsettled, due partly to the presence
of Nubian and Baganda 'rebels', and also to the internal conflict between
leading Bahinda, especially Igumira and Kahitsi. Most of the time the
troops seemed to remain in Mbarara, occasionally sallying forth on expedi-
tions and forrays.
This did not prevent the Government station being developed on the
'spur' site selected by Macallister at the beginning though there were other
difficulties. In the middle of 1900 Baile looked back on this time and wrote:
"I attribute my bad health sometime back to the hard work and
anxiety of getting the station built. We had no carpenter or handy-man of
any sort, so that not only had I to superintend the building but actually to
do all the work myself, such as making doors, windows, etc."60 A couple
of months earlier Macallister had reported to the Special Commissioner;
"Several buildings are required, but as there is not a carpenter nothing can
be done, I was told when leaving Kampala that the first carpenter
arriving from the coast would be sent after me, but he has not arrived here
yet" (i.e. eighteen months later). Ironically enough, it was three days after
Macallister left Mbarara that the first "two artisans named Bachoo Abdul-
lah and Juma Ferhani, one a carpenter, the other a mason, arrived."61 In
the same letter he also stated that "A compounder or hospital assistant, if
a doctor is not available, is also required, as at certain times of the year
there is considerable sickness among the troops and native staff." In
fact, in the Protectorate Estimates for 1900-01 printed in February 1900,
before this letter was written, "one hospital assistant and one hospital
attendant" were included.62 There is no indication that either ever arrived,
and in the following year the estimate is altered to "one Medical Oficer"
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
only.63 Not until May 1902 did Dr. Ralph Stoney arrive as the first
In the early part of August 1900, a week or two before Macallister left,
Sir Harry Johnston, the Special Commissioner, had paid a visit to the
station. Throughout the Protectorate he considered that "the troops had
been given too much police work" and was planning to restore a really civil
administration now that peace had been established. His scheme to set up
a native constabulary "trained by sergeants of the Metropolitan police and
the regular army" is reflected in the tact that when Macallister left, Racey
was able to report that 45 men had been enlisted and "The English sergeant,
to whom you referred when here, would now be of the greatest service in
training these men "65
Mr. Lazaro Kamugungunu, Enganzi of Ankole from 1938 to 1946, "Who
first saw Mbarara in about 1900.. remembers the place consisting of a small
camp made up of (the Collector's) office and house, both of which were
built of mud, and thatched with grass and surrounded for protection by
the Sudanese troops' barracks."66 Dr. Lowsley, in his 1906 report speaks of
the "civil quarters which are mud built, grass roofed, old and dark, and are
I believe shortly to be replaced."67 In the following year. Major Jack, gives
a full description of these original buildings; "Inside the boma you see facing
you a low, square building, heavily thatched, its walls built of sun-dried
bricks in other words, mainly of mud and roughly whitewashed, the
windows closed by wooden shutters and innocent of glass, the whole dark,
dusty, and dirty." He then goes on to describe the Government Office and
Post Office which was not built until about 1901-02.68 Such were the small
beginnings of the administration.
During Macallister's twenty months as Sub-Commissioner in Ankole
there were few changes and no fatalities among the European personnel.
Among the civil staff, Baile remained for almost the whole period, only
leaving for Toro in June 1900 when R. R. Racey arrived to replace him.
Baile had acquired the title of Collector under Johnston's re-organization,
and when Macallister, departed, Racey remained as Collector for the district,
coming under the Sub-Commissioner for the Western Province. V. M.
Manara, a Maltese, came as the Government clerk during 1900, and be-
cause of his ability was soon made Assistant Collector (April 1901). On
the military side, Captain Fisher remained as O.C. troops until April 1900.
About the middle of 1899 Moorhouse was replaced by Lieutenant G. C. R.
Mundy (Leicester Regt) who became in sole charge of the military force
when Fisher went on leave and was not replaced because of the war in
The development of native administration at Mbarara may now be
reviewed. When Macallister arrived in Ankole he found Kahaya as Omu-
gabe, but with Igumira and Kahitsi as "his principal chiefs," and later he
learnt that these two "have acted as Regents until quite recently." From
the first he formed the opinion that Kahaya was anxious to co-operate, but
"being very young, I fear he is much in the hands of his chiefs." Igumira
and Kahitsi were outwardly friendly but Macallister was suspicious of
Kahitsi, who had "supported Mwanga's party in the past, and is in league
with the powder-runners."70 Moreover, as Dr. Karugire points out, by this
time Kahitsi had withdrawn his support from Kahaya and was backing
a rival candidate, Rwakatogoro. As soon as Macallister arrived in Mbarara
"Kahitsi promptly appealed to him not to recognize Kahaya, and, to ensure
sympathetic support, he offered his sister, Kyabatuku, to Macallister in
marriage. To the consternation of everyone, except perhaps the prospective
bridegroom, Macallister declined the offer rather rudely. The latter, more-
over, was already definitely on Kahaya's side, but this did not influence
his decision to decline Kahitsi's offer."71 On the contrary, it is perfectly
obvious that Kahaya and his supporters were not in the least disconcerted
by Macallister's refusal. This kind of reporting of the episode also shows a
complete lack of understanding of the European reaction to such an offer.
Macallister can never for a moment have thought that it was part of his
official duty as one of Queen Victoria's Vice-Consuls to enter into a marri-
age with an African princess, and it is inconceivable that he should ever
have thought of accepting what must have seemed to him an outrageous
In the following months Kahitsi gave considerable trouble, and by the
middle of 1899 the Sub-Commissioner also considered that "Egumira
would cause trouble if he saw the slightest chance of success."72 During this
time there was obviously considerable suspicion on both sides. With Kahaya
living "about three hours distant" at Rushasha, and coming in to Mbarara
"with 500 to 600 spearmen and 50 guns"73 it must have been difficult for
Macallister to know what was really happening in the district.
Doubtless it was for this reason that he wanted to get the Omugabe
settled much closer to the Government station, and decided to attempt this
soon after he had established himself. In April Macallister complained of
Fisher and the troops being ordered off to Kabula, "thus upsetting my
arrangements for getting Kawia in here."74 A couple of weeks later, writing
about early missionary activity, he commented, "would not be surprised to
hear that Kawia had fled to German Mpororo, as he has his father's super-
stitions I read of all white men, and missionaries in particular."75 However,
by the end of May, Kahaya had sufficiently overcome these fears both to
have received a European missionary (Clayton) and to have agreed to move.
"Here all is peace, Kawia is coming to live near the station, against the
advice of many of his elders."76 Now the Omugabe was beginning to act
independently of the former regents, and in the direction indicated by the
On 19 June 1899 Macallister reported: "Kawia, with a large following,
is now living within a mile of the station (he) has got over his super-
stitious fear, and has reduced his bodyguard from 500 to 50 men, in fact I
can safely say that confidence is established," and a month later "No
trouble is anticipated from the Waankole, who now acknowledge Kawiya,
with the exception of about 100 followers of Kiyisi (Kahitsi). The district
can be held with one company of troops."7
As is well known, the site which Kahaya now occupied was the hill,
Kamukuzi. Though probably not evident at the time, this event in June
1899 marked a radical break with the past, as this was the beginning of the
location of the Omugabe's court in one place, which was to last throughout
the reign of Kahaya, and also that of his successor. At first there was no
significant change. Bishop Tucker and Doctor Cook visited this lulembo
in December 1899, and the former noted that "our first view of the native
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
capital of Nkole was disappointing, to say the least it is little better than
a huge cattle kraal. The King and his dependents live inside the kraal with
the cattle. The lodging of his majesty is not much better than that of his
herds. A thorn boma surrounds the whole enclosure. Happily our tents had
been pitched, not inside the king's kraal, but in the enclosure of the Katikiro,
some three or four hundred yards away. The Katikiro is a 'progressive' and
had built his house after the Luganda model. We are therefore fairly com-
fortable."78 Once again it is Mbaguta who represented change and who set
the pattern for the future; for within two years of moving to Kamukuzi the
Mugabe had "built himself a large two-storied brick house of which he is
Thirdly, the development of trade during the early months of 1899
may be examined. Traders of a kind were of course already active in the
area, and one of the reasons for the setting up of a Government station was
to control the traffic in powder, cartridges, and ivory across the German
boundary. Among Macallister's first reports is one for 23 December 1899
on the arrest of a "Swahili, Mzee bin Suliman, at 10 p.m. in Kiyisi's village"
for having such items in his possession. However he quickly admitted his
inability to do much to control this kind of activity from Mbarara, "it being
absolutely impossible to watch every road leading from Toro and Unyoro
into German territory."80 Eventually plans were made to set up two posts
in the south of Ankole.
During the first six months of 1899 Macallister was mainly taken up
with political matters and establishing the administration. At the end of
this period, he noted under the heading 'Resources' that "Cattle and ivory
are at present alone of any value, the former are numerous, but like the
Masai and other similar tribes the Wahima do not care to sell them. Ivory
is scarce, there being I believe only two herds of elephants in Ankole." He
then goes on to describe the agricultural produce of the 'Whiro', and the
fish which "are not eaten, they are dried, and used as a medium of exchange
with neighboring tribes." At the end of the half year, the revenue return
showed an income from trade (Customs on imports and exports) of only
Rs 457.12. (Less than 30).81 As the soldiers, and other Government em-
ployees were paid in trade goods, there was very little opportunity for com-
merce as such.
There were no startling changes in the second half of 1899. but the
problem of controlling trade in the district as a whole was forcibly impressed
on Macallister on a journey he made into northwest Ankole in the second
half of September. "It appears that there is a very considerable trade in ivory
from the south end of lake Albert Edward, (where elephants are very
numerous), all of which escapes duty, the caravans entering the protectorate
near lake Karengi, and passing through Niamizi to the lake. For some time
I have suspected the existence of this trade from German territory, as the
trading passes issued at Bukoba up to October number 547, whereas only
17 caravans have passed through Mbarara. No doubt many of the caravans
went into Buddu, but the majority are trading for ivory, and would natur-
ally go to the cheapest and nearest market."82 Dr. Karugire agrees that
"there was no market" in Ankole. This led Macallister to two conclusions
about trade in his area. Firstly, that other customs posts must be set up
apart from the one at the station, and secondly, that "a trader should be
encouraged to open a store here for the sale of trade goods, and the purchase
Macallister was in no doubt that in this second conclusion lay the
answer to the problem. Writing to the new Special Commissioner, Sir Harry
Johnston, two days after Christmas 1899, he set out five advantages of
having a trader settled at Mbarara. (i) The export from Ankole would pass
through this trader, thus making collection of duty simple, especially in
view of the shortage of suitable staff to collect it; (ii) with a market on the
spot, the Banyankole would have little incentive to continue taking ivory
through into German territory for disposal; (iii) the same would be true of
trade from the south end of lakes Albert and Edward; (iv) trade would even
be encouraged to pass through Mbarara from the west of lakes Albert, Edward
and Kitakwenaa in the south of Toro, if fair prices were paid; (v) by paying
soldiers and native staff in rupees instead of goods, trade in Mbarara would
be encouraged and the cost of transporting the goods from Kampala would
be removed.84 There follows an interesting list of the trade goods which the
trader should stock: "americani" (cotton cloth originally from the U.S.A.),
"European clothes (cheap coats and trousers)," "vitambi" (lengths of cloth
used for making head wear), "vikoi" (white loin cloths with coloured bord-
ers), "kanzus" (long robes, usually white), "Kaniki" (dark blue calico or
cotton worn as a dress by women), "brass and copper wire, (the latter fine),"
"Ukuta beads", "knives, scissors, razors, looking glasses, etc."
Strangely enough, when this letter reached Johnston he had already
been informed by "two traders, Messrs Chambers and Ormsby" that they
were "about to proceed to Ankole and Toro to buy ivory and trade in
other things," so he replied by return. Both administrators were somewhat
suspicious of the honesty of traders, and Johnston warned his Sub-
Commissioner to be "on your guard against these traders. They may be for
all I know the most estimable people in the world, but I never trust traders
especially those of my own nationality. They are always striving to obtain
some undue advantage out of the Government or out of the inhabitants of
these countries."'8 Nevertheless he was prepared to support the idea of a
trader becoming established at Mbarara, and promised that "the first
applicant like this firm that arrived on the spot would receive from me a
grant of not more than 100 acres of land on a long lease, free of grant.
provided the place was chosen for and used as a trading settlement."86
Ormsby was persona grata with the Government as he has already been
employed by Ternan in 1897 as a Transport Officer for operations against
the Nandi and in Buddu, and he was well known to Frederick Jackson.87
When he arrived in Mbarara on 6 February, Macallister approved a site
selected by him, according to Johnston's terms.88 Thereafter things moved
fairly rapidly. In May a market was established which proved to be "a great
success, sheep are killed daily, and salt, grain and vegetables, are brought
in large quantities, thus doing away with the necessity for foraging parties,
and complaints by natives as a natural consequence. Rupees are in circula-
tion, but native traders are required. I hope by the end of next month
(July) to have one, if not two traders established here." A week after writing
this Macallister was requesting the stopping of "all trade goods to Ankole
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
for payment of wages and rations to employees of the Administration, as
there are three traders in the district to whom encouragement should be
given." At the same time he asked for "a monthly Uganda price list" which
"will be a check on trader's prices, and enable me to reckon the correct
import dues, at present I have to trust the word of the trader, or trust to
In fact it was that same month, June 1900, that two Swahili traders
settled at Mbarara, "but owing to the troops being paid primarily in cloth,
and the reduction of the native staff, they are heavily handicapped."90 Nor
was this the only problem for "the traders in Ankole, although anxious to
buy, have no rupees owing to the issue of cloth as pay to the troops and
others," and Macallister wanted "traders from Kampala to come here and
buy for the Uganda market" and concludes that in any case "it is hardly fair
to the traders who have been induced to settle on the understanding that
the employees would be paid in specie."91
These traders were settled on a road near the boma. They began in
tents, but eighteen months later when Gait, the Collector, moved this road
further southeast and the bazaar moved with it, he wrote of the traders that,
"the buildings already erected by them were only tumble-down shanties."
It is a reflection of the progress made and of the cosmopolitan nature of the
enterprise that by that time there were "now one European, one Persian,
one Arab, one Swahili and three Indian firms" carrying on trade.92 Two
European representatives of the Italian Colonial Trading Company were also
visiting the place at this time.93 The activities on the spot were carried on
mainly by Swahili or Asian agents of these firms.
Thus even before Macallister ceased to be Sub-Commissioner for the
district the beginnings of real commercial activity and the use of money
were already apparent, even though the difficulties of establishing these were
still considerable. At the same time missionary activities were also develop-
ing. In December 1898 neither Anglicans nor Catholics were carrying on
missionary work in Ankole. The first real Christian penetration into Ankole
had come when the Baganda Christians sought refuge there in 1888-90. As
refugees they had not been in a position to do much to proclaim their faith,94
but some, like Apolo Kaggwa and Zakaria Kizito, made a considerable
impression at Ntare's court. They were settled in Kabula, where Mbaguta
was the chief; he was strongly impressed, become the blood-brother of two
of the leading Christians, and as already seen from Bishop Tucker's account,
permanently adopted Kiganda ways. Certainly his influence was crucial in
the later acceptance of Christianity at the court. As time went on, the situa-
tion for someone like Mbaguta must have been particularly confusing.95
So at the end of the last century Mbaguta was acting in a rather in-
consistent manner. He made blood-brotherhood with two of the leading
Christian refugees, and then fought with Kintu's army on the side of Mwa-
nga. But then Kintu had also once been a Christian refugee in Ankole, and
even after his final escape to German territory he still claimed to be a
Catholic.% The real irony of the situation however is seen in the fact that it
was Mbaguta's force fighting for Kintu at Nyendo Hill in August 1897
which led to the European determination to control Ankole and
which was to be so much to the former's advantage. After the battle George
Wilson wrote that, "After grave deliberation upon the conditions surround-
44 UGANDA JOURNAL
ing the whole position I have ventured to assume that Ankole's attitude has
afforded sufficient justification for the consequences which may accrue to
that country from Mr. Grant's incursion.""97 One of the consequences was
Berkeley's conviction that it was essential to settle country through
administration, and in the wake of this the Missions became established also.
The leading Baganda Christians of the exile retained their concern that
the Gospel should be brought to Ankole, but while Ntare V lived, little could
be done directly. Among the European missionaries there was also a real
concern. Too often Bishop Willis is credited with having pioneered the
Protestant advance into Ankole.98 In fact he only reached Uganda in Decem-
ber 1900, and came to Mbarara in the following month with Herbert Clay-
ton, who was the real European pioneer. The very earliest attempt would
seem to have been by two Baganda teachers who were working in Ankole
before the end of August 1894,9 though one wonders how far they had
penetrated, and nothing seems to have resulted.
George Pilkington had a great desire to see the Gospel taken to more
out-lying areas, and early in 1896, soon after Ntare's death, he wrote 'A
Three Year Enterprise for Uganda' in which he mentioned Ankole as one
of those places that "are within reach and touch, though not absolutely open
at present."100 One of his boys, Aloni Muhinda, had his origins in Ankole
and was to be the first Munyankole to be ordained deacon in the Protestant
Clayton, who first arrived in Uganda early in 1897, in the same party
as Dr. Cook, was sent to work in Koki with R. H. Leakey. In June 1897
Pilkington visited Koki and addressed some meetings. Clayton wrote that
"some of the missionaries are very anxious to get an entrance into Ankole
and to send teachers there, but so far it has not been considered safe for a
European to go there. We have however just sent one of our teachers in
to see the King of Ankole and to find out if he would receive teachers."101
The moment of course proved to be extremely inopportune as a week later
the Kabaka Mwanga fled from Mengo. Sometime afterwards Leakey reported
on this: "Just before the rebellion broke out we sent one of our teachers
from here to visit Kaiya, the King of Ankole, and to see what prospect of
work there was there. Ankole has always been very anti-European and our
messenger was received with great suspicion as the agent of the Europeans.
Kaiya would say nothing save that he would send to Kampala to know if
he should allow us to enter Ankole. Our messengers found the people deep-
ly sunk in superstition. Some were more or less anxious to hear what we
had to say, but were afraid of their friends."102
The first real attempt to place two native evangelists at Kahaya's court
came at the end of 1898 from the former refugee, Kaggwa; but the opposi-
tion proved too strong, and they returned to Buganda. Canon Buningwire
gives their names as Timeseo and Nuwa.103 The second attempt was made
in May 1899, just before Kahaya moved in to Kamukuzi. Herbert Clayton
"who had long had his eyes fixed upon Nkole" took the opportunity of the
initiative of the Mugema (Yoswa Kate Damulira) in getting permission from
the Church Council at Namirembe to send two of his own followers as
teachers in Ankole, and to go there himself. His letters describe this visit
to Rushasha and the short stop at "the Fort, where Mr. Macallister .
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
gave me tea with bread and jam." He arrived on 23 May, and on the next
days he recorded only the Omugabe's refusal to agree to the evengelists
remaining in his territory. The strangers were given hospitality by Mbaguta
who "says he would be glad to read, only he is afraid of the King and the
old heathen his chief advisers." At first Clayton found that "the King is
very much under the influence of an old chief named Igumira, who was I
believe his guardian and who is a determined heathen and opposed to any
change."104 However Kahaya's new independence of the old chiefs, already
seen in his decision to move to Mbarara also made at this time, is now
seen in his change of attitude towards these Christians. Clayton does not
elaborate on what caused the change if he ever knew but by 29 May
he could write "Kahaya has reconsidered his decision and has consented to
receive our teacher and allow his people to be taught."105 It was a very
small beginning, with only five men reading, while Kahaya and the chiefs
played a waiting game to see what would befall them. Clayton then returned
to Koki leaving the evangelists at Rushasha. These two were Sitefano Kagu-
misa and Yokana Nakaima, while Isaka Nyakayaga vws also of the party.'10
Once again the opposition proved too strong, and the teachers returned.
The real beginning of Protestant missionary work in Mbarara can be
dated from December 1899. In August, Zakarip Kizito, now the Kangawo.
visited Mbarara and later told Clayton "that *he King Kahaya is now an-
xious for a European teacher to go and live there" and the suggestion was
made that Clayton should go and build tblre, again leaving Baganda teach-
ers in charge until a European could be freed to go there.107 This was not
taken up, but the way was prepared for Bishop Tucker and Dr. Cook, when
they passed through Ankole "if possible to effect an entrance" on their way
to Toro in December 1899. Stopping in Koki on the way they discussed
the prospects with Clayton, who was able to introduce them to Filipo Ba-
mulanzeki and Andereya Kamya who "were prepared as missionaries to
give themselves to the work of teaching the Banyankole the truths of
Christianity."'08 Again there was some difficulty in getting the two men
accepted, but Tucker and Cook were able to leave them behind and these
Four months later, Clayton in Buddu had good news of their progress.
They reported to him "that the king, Kahaya, has made a start in learning
to read, but that he is not keen about it, and many of his big chiefs wish to
prevent him. The Katikiro, or Prime Minister, Baguta, is much keener
about it, and is anxious that all his women and boys should learn. He wants
very much some European missionary to go and spend at least a fortnight
with them, when he thinks that the king would really make a start in
earnest."'09 Clayton went to visit the new Mission in September 1900, a
month after Macallister had left for the Nile, and found that "Kahaya is
building a small Church close to his own fence" and "Mbaguta is our keen-
The first reference to Mission activity in the official correspondence
reflects similar attempts by the Roman Catholics to enter Ankole. There
had of course been many among the Christians of the exile, and the Catholic
leader, Honorato Nyonyintono, had become a blood-brother of Ntare's son.
In establishing permanent work in Ankole they experienced the same diffi-
culties as the Protestants. Then in May 1899 Macallister told Ternan that
"the native sent by Monsieur Gorju (Superior of the White Fathers, Bikira)
went to Kawia and came back rather disgusted. He reports having failed to
find a single man willing to be taught.""' A few weeks later there is an
interesting sidelight on Clayton's very first visit and the (temporary) esta-
blishing of the Mugema's two men: "A Mr. Clayton of the C.M.S. called
here on his way to Kawia on May 23rd, and again on his way back to Koki
on May 31st. He informs me that two teachers were sent away from Kawia's
a short time ago, this may be correct as I told Kawia not to allow any
Waganda to remain in Ankole without a pass, it being impossible to dis-
tinguish between Waangoni and other Waganda, Kawia now allows
two teachers to live near him, and has given them each a slave to teach
Though this essay is concerned only with the period up to August 1900
in detail, it rounds off the story to add that from January 1901 the Rever-
ends Herbert Clayton and J. J. Willis, of the Church Missionary Society,
took over the direction of the work begun by the two Koki teachers at
Kamukuzi and thereafter rapid development took place. Monseigneur
Streicher was very keen on extending from Buddu and Koki into Ankole
and Gorju seems to have been the counterpart of Clayton. As director of
the White Fathers work in Koki. he was to become the leader of the first
permanent Catholic centre at Mbarara. A determined attempt was made
from Koki in the last months of 1900 by Pere J. Lesbros, Brother Herman
and the Munyankole catechist Jean Kamondo, who conducted a fact-finding
tour. Kamondo was left behind to build a church, but the venture ran into
political difficulties. The work did not properly begin until the arrival of
Pere Goriu and Pere Varangot in October 1902 when the Mission at Nya-
mitanga was started.
Muslim activity at Mbarara was slight. Though Muslims had come to
Ankole several years before, they had found little response among the local
people. At this time they were mainly represented by the soldiers of the Uga-
At what point then can it be said that the settlement on the Muti site
became a town? One geographer of East Africa has summed up the situa-
tion very realistically: "there is no general agreement on what constitutes
a town.""4 This being so, there will always be those who will look for an
interpretation of the term which will provide grounds for finding a long
history of urban life in the East African interior. For such, even the oru-
rembo of Ntare, traditional, temporary, and dependent on herding and raid-
ing though it was, will be a town. In the article mentioned at the beginning,
Dr. Twaddle cited two authorities, Professor Oliver and Dr. Gutkind, in
support of this view, though as the latter refers to the exceptional areas of
West Africa and the East Africa coast the connection is not obvious in this
To be fair to the members of the Royal Commission and their Report,
it should be noted, that, though their comment on the growth of towns
forms only one paragraph. they were careful to note exceptions both of the
coastal norts and the headoanrters of the hereditary chiefs north and west of
lake Victoria. Moreover they added two reservations to this second ex-
ception (i) that these were "temporary growths" and (ii) that they "bore no
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA
resemblance to the permanent urban centre as we know it todav.""1
Obviously these were generalisations, and to the first of them some ex-
ceptions may be found, but these do not prove that settlement comparable
to that modern urban centre has a long history in the East African interior.
It is the more generally accepted view that urban development in sub-
Saharan Africa is recent.117 This view takes into account the more conven-
tional factors which are looked for in defining townships. Some of these are
that in addition to the settlement of a considerable number of people on
one site, evidence of more than an agricultural way of life is required;
there should be the presence of some trade, possibly of industry as well;
other points such as nodality, and reasonable permanence, may also be
looked for. Set in this wider context it can hardly be maintained that Ntare's
kraal constituted a town. Nor is it the contention of this article that Macal-
lister's Mbarara was a town either. What is claimed is that these wider
factors were beginning to be recognizable before he left, and that on this
foundation grew up the community which developed into a town.118
Two further points need to be made in the light of Dr. Twaddle's
conclusions about Mbale. Firstly that, apart from ivory and powder, trade
did follow the 'Flag' in Ankole, it did not come first. This is expressed
rather quaintly by Dr. Cook's mother, describing his first visit from his
letters. "At last they reached Fort Imbarara, where the Union Jack was
floating in the wind, and after a kind and hospitable reception from the
resident in charge, they pressed on to the native king's capital .. "1"9 This
would seem a completely jingoistic description were it not for the fact that
there was really nothing else at the station to describe and certainly nothing
in the way of a trading centre. This picture should be compared with Major
Jack's eulogistic account of a few of the better class 'duka' less than a
decade later. "The eye wanders round the well filled shelves and fondly
dwells on the hlxuries there displayed, mostly in tins. One sees Russian
caviare and Gadbury's chocolates; sardines in tomato and otherwise; French
asparagus and solid British steak-and-kidney pies; crystallized fruits cheek
by jowl with sliced bacon and sausages. Visions of gorgeous feasts and
sumptuous dinners and well-laden breakfast tables rise in the imagina-
Secondly, there is the question of the purpose of such enquires as this.
It is easy to understand, and right to commend, the re-establishing of the
validity of things African, including the nature of African settlement and
community. Yet there is a great danger that the alien nature of much urban
growth in East Africa may be played down for the wrong reasons. The plain
fact is that most eastern African towns are the result of the encounter bet-
ween the different cultures African, Asian and European. To pretend other-
wise is do a dis-service to the present inhabitants. Dr. O'Connor has wisely
stated that "it is therefore suggested that the pattern of town growth should
be examined and understood in each country, in order that governments may
have a sound basis upon which to frame their policies in this field."121 The
lot of those who live in modern urban Ankole will not be improved by
pressing the connection between the cattle-kraal of a pastoral king with
the permanent urban centre as known today and as it will develop tomor-
48 UGANDA JOURNAL
1. East African Royal Commission Report 1953-55. London, H.M.S.O., 1955 (Cmd
94751 p. 200.
2. Twaddle, M. 'The founding of Mbale'. (Uganda Journal, 30, 1966. p.25).
3. A balanced discussion of the origins of towns in East Africa is given in D. N.
McMaster, 'The colonial district town in Uganda', p.333 in Urbanisation and its
problems, edited by R. Beckinsale and J. Houston, 1968. Having discussed the
exceptions of Mengo (Kampala), the capitals of the pastoral kingdom of Ankole
(though those changed at least once a reign, and often much more frequently)
and the salt town of Katwe, MacMaster concludes that "these exceptions aside,
the colonial impact upon urban settlement was that of overlords, with superior
military power and a superior political organisation, entering upon agricultural
societies living in hamlets and dispersed settlements." He goes on to link Mbale
with Jinja as exceptions to this general pattern (p. 334). Even so at Mbale,
Kakungulu's activity stemmed directly from the European penetration, and Jinja
;s only exceptional in that it grew up as a result of traders and not administrators
(see Jinja transformed by C. and R. Sofer, 1955, p. 9). Other aspects of this
discussion are resumed in the conclusion to this essay and its footnotes.
4. Katate, A. G. and Kamungungunu, L. Abagabe b'Ankole, book 1, p. 143. I am
grateful to Mr. E. Kanyesigye for the translation.
5. Perham, M. The diaries of Lord Lugard, Vol. 2, p. 225. F. Lukyn Williams in
'Early travellers in Ankole' (Uganda Journal, 2, 1935, p. 206) says that Ntare
was living near Kakika, three miles north of Mbarara, but such a site at Kakika
is not now remembered and Muti would seem to be much more likely.
6. Lugard, F. D., The rise of our East African empire, Vol. 2, p. 136).
7. Ibid, p. 160.
8- Elliot, G F. Scott, A naturalist in mid-Africa, p. 76.
9. Morris, H. F., A history of Ankole, p. 16.
10. Quoted in Hill, M. F,, Permanent way, Vol. 1, p. 125.
Colvile, H. E. The land of the Nile springs, p. 290.
12. G. G. Cunningham to H. E. Colvile 24 September 1894 Entebbe Secretariat
Archives (hereafter ESA) A/2/3.
13. Karugire, S. R. A history of the kingdom of Nkore in western Uganda to 1896,
p 246. This otherwise apparently admirable work is marred when the colonial
period is mentioned. Dr. Karugire insists on bringing the politics of the post-
independence period into discussion of the 1890's and thereby loses his credibility
as an objective commentator of those times (see again footnote 95). The dubious
status of these treaties was lampooned in Sir W. S. Gilbert's satire 'The three
kings of Chickeraboo':-
The admiral, pleased at his welcome warm, Unrolled a printed Alliance form.
'Your Majesity, sign me this I pray I come in a friendly kind of way -
I come, if you please, with the best intents, And Queen Victoria's compliments.
(W. S. Gilbert, The Bab ballads, London, 1873).
14- Ouoted in Morris, op. cit, p. 47.
15. Colvile, op. cit., pp. 292-294.
16. E. J. L. Berkeley (Commissioner) to F. 0., 19 November 1896, ESA A/34/2/123.
17. G. Wilson to W. Grant, 28 August 1897, ESA A/5/3/255.
18. Papers relating to the events in the Uganda Protectorate, London, H.M.S 0., 1898,
C. 8941 (Afrika no. 2 (1898): G. Wilson to the Marquess of Salisbury, No. 16,
15 September 1898, p. 14 and W. Grant to C. Wilson, 23 August 1897, p. 16.
19. Ibid., Wilson to Salisbury, p. 15.
20. W. Grant to G. Wilson, 15 September 1897, ESA. A/4/9/396. The Revd. H.
Clayton, C.M.S., writing from Koki, 11 July 1897, described the 'Wangoni' as
a set of Baganda called the bhang (Indian hemp) smokers, who at present live
on the borders of Ankole. These are some of the most determined old heathen
who found a refuge in Ankole, and they are known to be most bitter against
all Europeans and readers of any kind".
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA 49
21 Grant to Wilson, 30 September 1897, ESA A/4/9/416. In his report to Salisbury
(reprinted in Africa no. 2 (1898) op. cit., p. 14) Wilson describes receiving news
of the action at Nyendo on 28 August, but does not give the actual date. This
probably gave rise to the error on the metal plate affixed to the memorial cairn
at Masaka fort where the date of the action is wrongly given as the 28th.
22 Captain C. G. H. Sitwell, Diary in ESA, 26 September 1897.
23 Wright, M. The Baganda in the heroic age, p. 193.
24 Lt. C. V. C. Hobart to Grant, 29 September 1897, ESA A/4/9/9 with 416.
25. Sitwell, op. cit., 10 January and 10-12 April 1898.
26. Moyse-Bartlett, H. The King's African Rifles, pp.78-79 (cf. Wilson to Berkeley,
4 September 1898, ESA A/4/12/617). Lt. General Sir Michael lighe (1864-1925)
later returned to East Africa as a Divisional Commander during the campaign
21. Wilson to Commissioner, 17 October 1898, ESA A/4/13/720.
2S. Ternan to Commissioner, 24 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/32.
29. Tighe to Adjutant, 27th Baluchi Light Infantry, 4 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/2.
Berkeley to OC troops, 13 August 1898, ESA A/5/4/186 and Berkeley to Major
Martyr, 24 August 1898, ESA A/5/4/209.
10 Katate and Kamugungunu, op. cit., Vol. 2, pp. 4-5; Ebigano by'ebyabaireho
Omuri Uganda, edited by H. H. W. R. Hawes, book 2, p.42; Karugire, op. cit, page
249. See also Macallister's letter ESA A/4/11/302-303 (between). The 1897 date
for this given by Karugire and others is impossible as Macallister left Port
Victoria for the coast in January 1897 and did not return from leave till February
1898. Any date earlier than 1897 would also appear unlikely as Macallister was
at Port Victoria throughout 1895 and 1896.
31 Berkeley to F.O. 10 October 1898, ESA A/3/4/157.
32 Wilson to Commissioner, 17 October 1898, ESA A/4/13/720.
33. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 November 1898, ESA A/4/13/746.
34 Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/3/15/20.
35. Gray, Sir John, A history of Ankole, unpublished copy in possession of Royal
Commonwealth Society, Library, London and quoted with the kind permission
of the Librarian and Mr. A. T. Matson, the literary executor, who has also
kindly deposited a copy in the Uganda Society library. Among Sir John Gray's
papers at the Royal Commonwealth Society Library there is a file of rough
translations from the vernacular which appear to be from Munno. One of these
"The Words of the Hon. Nuwa Mbaguta 'The Katikiro' seems to be from
February 1913. It includes what is perhaps Mbaguta's own account of the
journey: "Then Mr. Makalista, whom they nicknamed Kisaka (the big) arrived.
I myself met him at Sikamaliga, in the county of Kayima, in Ankole. At that
journey, 1 had great trouble of supplying food to his and my people, because
food was scarcely. 1 had the chance of leading him in a good way to where he
went." I have not seen the Munno original.
36 Macallister is an elusive character. When he died the East Africa Standard failed
to notice the event, while The Leader only gave the briefest mention. Details of
his life given here are culled from various sources including Drunkey's Yearbook
for East Africa, 1904, and Staff lists. Mr. D. Simpson, Librarian of the Royal
Commonwealth Society, generously supplied information from the Dictionary of
East African Biography and the Secretary of the Institute of Civil Engineers
kindly provided a copy of an obituary notice from the Institute's Minutes of
Proceedings, Vol. 179, p. 368.
37 General report on the Uganda Protectorate for the year ending 31 March 1904,
London, H.M.S.O., 1904, (Africa no. 12, 1904) paragraph 29.
38 R. Baile to J. F. Cunningham 6 May 1900. ESA A/4/28/408. Berkeley seems to
have made a happy choice in sending Baile as Macallister's assistant. They had
already travelled from the coast together on Baile's first appointment in February,
and in August they had gone on safari together (Macallister probably already
having visited Ankole briefly) to the salt deposit at Usingiri in south Kavirondo
on the south side of Ugowe bay. ESA A/4/13/634. I am grateful to Mr. A. G.
Katate who gave me the note on the vernacular name Kishaka.
39. Berkeley to Macallister, 19 December 1898, ESA A/5/4/319.
40. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/19. Recently (1969) a
new road on the edge of the boma has been aptly named Mudt Drive.
50 UGANDA JOURNAL.
41. Karugire, op. cit., p. 105. Macallister shows his awareness of this point when
writing to Ternan about Land Regulations, "In Ankole all land is the property
of the King and chiefs hold land only during his pleasure." ESA A/4/9/505.
42. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/20.
43. Jack, E. M., On the Congo frontier, pp. 58-59.
44. Despatch from His Majesty's Agent and Consul General at Cairo enclosing a
report by Sir William Garstin, London, H.M.S.O, Egypt, no. 2, 1904. Opposite
p. 26 there is a photograph of the fort hill taken in early 1903 on which the
hill sides are devoid of trees. There is another earthwork, still marked by a row
of seven jacarandas below this summit and roughly to the north (now part of
the golf course) which was probably the original lower camp.
45. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/20. The 'Wangoro' here
means the 'Bairu' as Macallister makes clear later. The Omugabe was then at
Rushasha, about 10 miles out on the Fort Portal road.
46. Uganda handbook, Entebbe, G.P., 1913, pp. 51-52. This boma site was marked
by a concrete cone about 1940. It bore a metal plate which has been missing for
some years ,inscribed simply "SITE OF FIRST GOVERNMENT STATION OF
MBARARA OCCUPIED 1898." Uganda Herald, 11 November 1942.
47. Katete and Kamugungu, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 143,
48. Willis, J. J. Journal, 30 July 1901. Photostats of the journal of Bishop Willis are
held in Makerere University Library. On the question of the bridging of the
Ruizi, there was no permanent structure until 1929, but Sir John Gray, op. cit.,
pp.47-48 quotes Sir A. Kaggwa, Basekabaka b'e Buganda, p.164 (speaking of
the activities of the Christian exiles in Ankole) "Ntare also sent us to bridge
rivers and we bridged one very large river." Gray comments that, "the bridge,
or rather embankment, was constructed across the Ruizi River close to the present
township of Mbarara. though Baganda appear to have been noted for their
ability to construct such engineering works, a causeway of this description was a
novelty in Ankole. When some eight years later cattle raiders from Rwanda
reached the river, they thought the embankment must have been constructed by
Europeans." There is no indication of anything except fords and wooden bridges
on the 1906 map.
49. Macallister to H. H. Johnston, 8 January 1900, Mbarara C/1, ESA A/4/25/37.
50. H. Clayton to family in U.K., 17 September 1900. Photostat copies of these
letters are available in Makerere University Library.
51. A. H. Watson to Commissioner, Mbarara, 25 January 1906, ESA A/15/2.
52. Willis, J. J., Journal, 24 October 1902, quoted in M. Doornbos, Uganda Journal,
30, 1966, p. 140.
53. Katate and Kamugungunu, op. cit., book 1, p. 156. The Muti Kraal was situated
on top of the northern summit by the rocky outcrop above Johnston road. -
Personal communication frm A. G. Katate.
54. Report for Ankole, August 1900. ESA A/15/1/9.
55. Ennis, G. F. M. and Carter, W. Morris, Laws of the Uganda Protectorate in
force on 31 December 1909. Entebbe, G.P., 1910, p. 310 Mbarara the area ex-
tending northwards from the river Ruizi comprised within a circle having a
radius of one mile with the Collector's present office as centre.
56. Lowsley, L. D. Supplementary Annual Medical Report, Ankole District 1906,
p. 4 in the P.M.O.'s Report, M.O.H. Library, Entebbe.
57. Berkeley to Baile, 29 October 1898, ESA A/5/4/256.
58. Macallister to Ternan, 2 June 1899, ESA A/4/7/26, in his letter from Kajuna,
Buddu, 18 January 1899 Clayton wrote: "At Masaka I found a large staff of
Europeans. There was one officer who is going on to Ankole." From the context
this was certainly a military officer, and was probably Moorhouse.
59. Clayton, letter from Koki to family, 23 March 1899.
60. Baile to Canningham, 6 May 1900, ESA A/4/28/408.
61 Macallister to Johnston, 9 March 1900, ESA A/4/26/1779. Also Report for
August 1900, vide note 54.
F Protectorate Estimates, 1900-01, p. 6.
6 protectorate Estimates, 1901-02, p. 9.
64 Moffat, R. U., P.M.O.'s Report, 1903, p. 15, M.O.H. Library, Entebbe. In
fact the Estimates had some result: "At the Fort they have just received a
complete medical outfit of about 13 loads, containing all sorts of drugs, surgical
instruments, chloroform, etc. They suppose therefore that a medical officer is to
be appointed here, though they have not heard anything about it for here are
quantities of things which would be of no use to anyone but a doctor." (Clayton,
Mbarara, 18 May 1901).
65. Moyse-Bartlett, op. cit., p. 83; also Racey to Johnston, 23 August 1900, ESA
66. Ntare School History Society, The development of the town of Mbarara, 1970,
67. Lowsley, op. cit., p. 4.
68. Jack, op. cit., p. 543.
69. Of these seven, three died in Africa within a few years:- Baile on 16 March
1901 at Kisumu on the way to the coast at the end of his first tour; Fisher in
south Africa on 12 March 1902; and Macallister. Sir Harry Moorhouse ended
a long career in Africa as Lieutenant Governor of southern Nigeria.
70. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/20 and Macallister to
Ternan, 10 July 1899, ESA A/4/19/469.
71. Karugire, op. cit., pp. 249-250.
72. Macalister to Ternan, 19 June 1899, ESA A/4/18/343.
73. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/20.
74. Macallister to Ternan, 27 April 1899, ESA A/4/17/190.
75. Macallister to Ternan, 8 May 1899, ESA A/4/16/188.
76. Macallister to Ternan, 2 June 1899, ESA, A/4/17/264a.
77. Macallister to Ternan, 19 June 1899, ESA A/4/18/343 and 16 July 1899, ESA
78. Tucker, A. R, 'A missionary journey through Nkole', (Church Missionary Intel-
legencer, 1900, p. 502).
79. Clayton, letter to family, 21 April 1901.
s0. Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/15/20. and
Macallister to Berkeley, 1 January 1899, ESA A/4/16/107. For an interesting
note on the activities of Moslem traders in Ankole see Y. K. Bamunoba, 'Notes
on Islam in Ankole' (Dini na Mila, Vol. 1, no. 2, September 1965, p. 6).
81. Macallister to Ternan, 10 July 1899, ESA A/4/19/469.
82. Macallister to Ternan, 16 October 1899, ESA A/4/22/883.
83. Karugire, op. cit., p. 41 and Macallister to Johnston, 27 December 1899, ESA
84. Macallister to Johnston, 27 December 1899, ES AA/4/23/1045.
85. Johnston to Macallister, 9 January 1900, ESA A/5/9/23.
87. Thomas, H. B. 'On the frontiers of another world', (Uganda Journal, 30, 1966,
p. 123). Another source of evidence of Ormsby's activities in Ankole at this
time is a fragment from his letter dated 'Mbarara 30 March 1900' written into
a family memorial volume in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, under MSS Afr.
88. Macallister to Johnston, 12 February, ESA A/4/25/122.
89. Macallister to Johnston, 1 June 1900 ESA A/428/496 and 7 June 1900, ESA
90. Macallister to Johnston, 30 June 1900, ESA A/4/29/640.
91. Macallister to Johnston, 5 July 1900, ESA A/4/29/641.
92. H. St. G. Gait to F. J. Jackson, 2 November 1901, ESA A/15/2/80.
93. Report for Ankole, November 1901, ESA A/15/2/82.
94. Wright, op. cit., pp. 69-74.
95. In present-day cirmustances Mbaguta is bound to be in for a thin time from
certain quarters, for having embraced the 'progressive' Baganda and European
ways, and for having encouraged Christianity, education and the Protectorate
administration along with his own advancement. Critics often forget that he
helped to catapult Ankole into the twentieth century. It is a little odd, therefore
to find a highly educated Munyankole historian on the staff of the History De-
partment of Makerere saying that "Mbaguta was no more 'progressive' than all
his other rivals who refused to co-operate with them becausehis very
position depended on the goodwill of the colonial officials of the period."
52 UGANDA JOURNAL
(Karugire, op. cit., p. 248). Elsewhere he says, "He was 'progressive', which term.
in colonial parlance, means that he collaborated with the colonial administration
in enforcing some of the policies which did not appeal either to the king or
even to the people." (Karugire, op. cit., p. 111). Does 'progressive' really mean
no more than this? In the widest context this characteristic is seen in Mbaguta's
willingness to accept change and embrace new ideas which is evident even before
the arrival of the colonialists. Undoubtedly there was much opposition to the
'progressive' ideas, but to discuss them with such cynicism would be more
acceptable from a Muhima who still lives a pastoral life in Nyabushozi. It is
difficult to avoid the conclusion that this view is only an expression of the party
line of a particular group of non-African scholars, who are unable to think of
human actions being motivated by anything except political considerations. For
example, it is a weakness of Dr. Steinhart that he fails to consider that Mbaguta
and the Bahinda chiefs like Bucunku, Rutasharara and Matsiko, could have been
motivated by anything except shear political advantage when they collaborated
with the British-Baganda agents. To take the example of Bucunku, there was
already his omukago relationship with the Europeans through Sanley, and pro-
bably also considerable warmth towards the new faith which tney had brought,
and such foctors should be taken seriously. (See E. I. Steinhnae, Primary colla-
boration in Ankole 1891-1901 an interpretation of the response to the colonial
impact, Makerere U.E.A., S.S.C., History Papers, pp.195-196 and footnote 31 on
p.197)- It is just possible that H. F. Morris was right (and it would seem to be
far more true of human nature) to say, "Imperious and anoitious though he no
doubt was, Mbaguta had also a sincere belief in progress," (Uganda Journal, 24,
1960, p.1) and especially in those particular facets of progress already mentioned.
Those who are so cynical about Mbaguta's motives must expect others to be
sceptical about their own.
96. Wright, op. cit., p. 194.
97. Africa (no. 2), 1898, op. cit., Wilson to the Marquess of Salisbury, 15 September
98. Notably in C.M.S. publications, see for instance, E. Stock, History of the C.M.S.,
Vol 4, and H. Gresford Jones, Uganda in transformation, p.160.
99. The introduction of Christianity in Ankole has been part of the subject matter
of a Ph. D. dissertation for the University of East Africa, by M. L. Pirouet, but
little of this has yet been published, see Evangelists and sub-imperialists, Dini
na Mila, Vol. 4, no. I, October 1869, pp 28-41.
100. Pilkington, G. A three year enterprise for Uganda, (Church Missionary Intelli-
gencer, May 1896, p.335).
101. Clayton, Letters to family 8 July 1897. The name of this was Firipo Muwanga,
the head teacher in Koki. Clayton, Letters, 4 September 1904.
102. Leakey, R. (Church Missionary Intelligencer, 1898, p.416).
103. Personal communication from Canon Y. Buniningwa, 11 November 1969.
104. Clayton, Letters, 24 and 25 May 1899; see also Tucker, A. R. Eighteen years in
Uganda and East Africa, Vol. 2, pp.232 and 236-7.
105. Clayton, Letters, 29 May 1899.
106. Tucker, A. R. see note 108; Taylor, J. V. The growth of the Church in Buganda,
p.65; Williams, T.S.M., The coming of Christianity to Ankole (Bulletin of the
Society for African Church History, Vol. 2, no. 2, 1966, pp.157-8 and 170 note 36);
and Bamunoba, Y. K., A reconstruction of the history of the Christian Church
in Ankole: based on original sources, oral and written (Makerere: Hancock
Memorial Prize Essay 1966/67, p.6. Williams obtained the names Isaka Nyakyige
and Stefano Kabumunsa from Canon Buningwire. Bamunoba gives three names
Isaka Nyakayaga, Stefano Kagumisa, and Yokana Nakaima, though he does
not state that these were "the teachers". On 11 November 1969 Canon Buningwire
gave me the names Isaka Nyakayaga and Yokana Nyakahima. Isaka was a young
Muhima who had been away from Ankole for several years, apparently because
of the rinderpest. During his absence he had become a Christian and was now
very useful as an interpreter. Clayton and Willis came to know him very well
in the following years before he was exiled for apparent complicity in the Galt
murder. From these researches it would seem that Stefano and Yokana were
"the two teachers", but clearly they had others with them. Thus being a Muhima,
Isaka is likely to have been remembered, though not himself one of the teachers.
MACALLISTER AND MBARARA 53
More recent examination of the originals of the Clayton letters, however, suggests
that both Sitefano and Yokana, being among the "boys" of Clayton and in Koki,
could not have been "the two teachers". Dr. Pirouet has also doubted, on rather
uncertain evidence, that the Mugema had anything at all to do with this initiative.
Clearly the whole question of Christian expansion from Buganda and Koki into
Ankole needs thorough re-investigation, and I hope to do this in another article.
It is not the place to try to do so here, and I have merely set out instead the
position as represented by Tucker, Taylor, B'amunoba, and Williams (the last two
citing Canon Buningwire), though I do not now agree with their reconstruction
107. Clayton, Letters, 3 September 1899.
10s. Tucker, A. R. Eighteen years in Uganda and East Africa, Vol. 2, pp.232 and
109. Tucker, A. R. Clayton, Letter from Kajuna, 24 April 1900 quoted in Church
Missionary Intelligencer, 1900, p. 611.
110. Clayton, Letters, 21 September 1900.
111. Macallister to Ternan, 8 May 1899, ESA A/4/16/188.
112. Macallister to Ternan, 2 June 1899, ESA A/4/17/264a. This factor of the pass
seems to have been overlooked by other writers such as Williams, op. cit. and Y.
Bamunoba, op. cit.
113. Commissioner to Gait, 6 October 1902, ESA A/15/1/33 of 1902 (for the arrival
of the Catholic fathers.
The soldiers in Mbarara are often referred to as 'Sudanese'. Any doubt about the
religion is disposed of in the correspondence between Bishop Streicher and the
Commissioner following the withdrawal of Pere Lesbros from Ankole because of
his political involvements. The Bishop wrote from Kisubi, 11 October 1901 "je
renonce pour cette annee a l'etablissement de la station qui j'avais dessein d'y
fonder prochainement pour le service religieux des soldats baganda presque tous
catholiques, qui comprosent la garrison due Fort de Mbarara."
The Mbarara Police Force, started a year before, was however made up mainly
of Baganda and Bakoki, quite a number of whom were Protestant Christians, and
doubtless others were Catholics. (Clayton, Letters, 21 September 1900). To this,
Jackson as Acting Commissioner, replied on the following day: "Ankole is
at present garrisoned by No. 6 and No. 10 Companies, Uganda Rifles, which
companies are composed solely of Sudanese." As we have seen, No. 6 Company
had been stationed at Mbarara ever since Macallister's arrival. (ESA A/24/1/8
and 10 of 1901).
114. O'Connor, A. M. The distribution of towns in sub-Saharan Africa in J. Gugler,
Urban growth in Sub-Sahara Africa, (Nkanga no. 6), p.5.
115. Gutkind, P. C. W., Town life in Buganda, (Uganda Journal, 20, 1956, p.37).
l16. Royal Commission, op. cit., p.200.
117. Gugler, op. cit., p.3.
18. There is currently a good deal of discussion, especially amongst geographers, on
the definition of uroan origins and the process and dispersal of urbanisation.
Gideon Sjoberg, The pre-industrial city, gives a certain emphasis to the economic
role and especially to the emergence of a specialist class of craftsmen and trades-
men with non-agricultural roles. It could be feasible to argue that political and
administrative functions implied a similar presence of a specialist, non-agricultural
class. More recently Paul Wheatlev, The pivot of the four quarters; a preliminary
enquiry into and character of the ancient Chinese city, has argued from Chinese
evidence that the main motivation for urban origin is by the peasantry for a
cosmo-magical symbol, and that cities have emerged as ceremonial centres as a
microcosm of cosmic reality. Thus he advances religion rather than economics
as the prime variable. Clearly the place of cities in Africa are relevant to certain
aspects of this discussion and Akin Mabogunje has commented upon the character
of Yoruba towns, Urbanisation in Nigeria and Yoruba towns. (Ed.).
119 Cook, H. B. A doctor and his dog, London, R.T.S., 1903, p.128 from a letter
of 9 December 1899.
120. Jack, op. cit., pp.63-64.
121 O'Connor, op. cit., p.11.
54 UGANDA JOURNAL
On the 1st September 1899 Macallister forwarded to Entebbe "a plan showing the
general arrangement of Station ground, etc., at Mbarara." (ESA A/4/20/663). Un-
fortunately this has not been found. The map used has been the Military Intelligence
one which is to be found in the Lands and Surveys Archives, Entebbe under Misc. 118
'Plan of Mbarara c.1906' (scale 12 inches to 1 mile).
I am very grateful to Mr. Richard White for help with books, to the Rev. C. C. G.
Reed for comments on Swahili words; and to Miss Grant.
x x x x x x x x x x
The following ackowledgement should be attached to the ensuing article
on Cunningham' journey through Ankole, by D. Weekes.
1 am grateful to the following gentlemen for their kind assistance; Mr. A. G.
Katate for information on Ntare's capital at Katete in 1894 and on other place-names
such as Kitabwenda; to Mr. E. R. Katureebe for information on Kyarwanshashura hill:
to Mr. Mutashwera for information on Kakiira; and the Dr. A. C. Stanley Smith for
help and encouragement.
Uganda Journal, 37 (1973) pp. 55-62.
THE JOURNEY OF CUNNINGHAM THROUGH ANKOLE IN 1894
By D. WnEKES.
On 25 July Major G. G. Cunningham left Port Alice (Entebbe) with a
force of fifty-seven troops of the Uganda Rifles and sixty-five Swahili porters.
His orders were to march through Buddu, as a show of strength, and relieve
Mr. J. P. Wilson who was surrounded by "hostile natives" at Marongo on the
Ankole border.' Wilson had been on his way to make a treaty with Ntare,
the Omugabe of Ankole, before taking charge of Toro district. Cunningham
was to assist Wilson in any way necessary and take over the task of acting
as envoy to Ntare. As it turned out he felt his first task was to escort Wilson
as far as Fort George at Katwe, the administrative station in Usongora, and
then to tackle the question of negotiating with Ntare afterwards.
A good deal of uncertainty seems to exist about the route which was
taken on this expedition. As a European traveller Cunningham undoubtedly
covered considerable new ground on this occasion. An attempt is made to
recognize this on the Atlas of Uganda map of 'Early Travels',2 though as
B. W. Langlands says this route is "only roughly mapped."3 Published re-
ferences to Cunningham's presence in Ankole are extremely few.4 There is
for instance no reference to Cunningham's traverse in Lukyn William's article
on explorer's routes through Ankole5 nor in the more recent follow up of
this by Ntare pupils.6 Moreover, the 1900 map of Uganda by J. R. L. Mac-
donald shows numerous routes through Ankole taken later by Macallister,
but the name Cunningham does not appear,7 and it is undoubtedly the pre-
sence of this map which is attributable for the more generous allocation of
new Ankole routes to Macallister at the expense of Cunningham (especially
with reference to the Mbarara-Koki route) on the Atlas of Uganda map.8
This map only suggests the possibility of a pioneering route by Cunningham
westwards from Masaka through Lyantonde to Mbarara and thence north-
west to join up with the route taken by the botanist G. F. Scott Elliot earlier
in the same year.
Research into the Entebbe Secretariat Archives, however, reveals that
Cunningham's own account survives and the basis of this record of early
travels in Ankole requires substantial revision. Two records of Cunningham's
work in Ankole exist. Firstly there is his report to the Commissioner, Colonel
Colvile,9 and in an attachment to it, "Description of the Country Passed
through by the Ankole expedition 1894, via King Ntale's Capital."'0 A 'road
chart' was supposed to have accompanied the latter, but this has not been
Having crossed the river Katonga on 30 July 1894, Cunningham passed
through Buddu in a fairly leisurely fashion to reach Marongo on 5 August.
Here he discovered that Wilson's enemies were the Futabangi (Bhang smok-
ers). He spent a day in taking over command of the expedition. Incidentally
Wilson felt that his reputation was likely to suffer as a result of not having
succeeded in his mission to Ntare. On the other hand Cunningham was in
no doubt about success and reported to Colvile "I leave here tomorrow (7
August) for Busozi (Nabushozi) awaiting a reply from Ntale. If necessary 1
will escort Mr. Wilson to Fort George and then proceed to Ntale's.""
Proceeding to Kabalu on 7 August, be spent a day exacting payment for
plundered trade goods. He then passed through Nabushozi to Romohoro
(Rwomuhoro) where "some messengers arrived from Ntali with sheep, sala-
ams, and a message to say he hoped to see me on my return journey."'2 The
party reached Bwera in Mitoma on 13 August; Kitete (marked on Scott
Elliot's map) on 15th; Kichwamba (in Bunyaruguru) on 17th; and Fort George
on 19th. Thus on the outward journey Cunningham seems to have followed
Lugard's route of 1891 fairly closely, and certainly not to have gone to Ntare
After arriving at Fort George, Wilson wrote to Colvile on 21 August
"I will go to Kasagama's shortly I will build a new station on the sight
(sic) of the one which was burned down on the evacuation of Toro."'3
Having successful assisted Wilson to his place of duty, Cunningham
now turned his attention to the matter of Ntare. Losing no time, he began
the journey south on 21 August, by crossing the channel by the ferry at
Kazinga. Here he stayed thenight and wrote his second letter to Colvile.
The chief of the area, Kaihura, lent two guides, both of whom deserted within
two days. At first the path across the plain by which they had come was
followed to Kichwamba on the escarpment. Before arriving there, however,
the path "which diverges to the south"14 was taken, and thereafter new
ground was broken for a European traverse through Ankole. It would seem
that Kaihura's guides led the party during most of 22nd and 23rd. The report
gives the following description of this part of the journey:- "Then comes
two days of very hilly country, though the gradients of the paths are not ex-
cessively steep. The country from Rusoze to Igara is well timbered, but from
the latter place to Ntengo none, though there are several streams and marshes
on the road." From this it would seem that Cunningham skirted the crater
area of the escarpment and avoided the dense Maramagambo forest, keeping
to the lower hills. Both the 1900 map (Macdonald's) and a 1910 Ankole"1
district map give Lusozi (Rusoze) as another name for Bunyaruguru.16
The expedition passed from Rusoze to Igara on 23 August through well
timbered country. Scott Elliot'7 marks Igara as a place at a height of 4,700
feet, probably in the region of the present factory at Kitozho. The next
day was spent in crossing treeless country but with "several streams and
marshes on the road", to reach Ntengo (Elliot's Nengo; and Enego on current
maps still in Igara).
Cunningham takes up the story for 25 August. "The fourth day's march
lies along a splendid road, leading to the very large village of Sima, over
undulating country, but no timber." Again Scott Elliot indicates such a place
roughly in the vicinity of Kigarama in Sheema. The party then entered a
vast undulating plain with here and there solitary cone-shaped hills. This
plain is surrounded by hills on all sides, the Ruampara range bounding it on
the south. "It appears fertile, with numerous villages dotted about, but devoid
of timber." Even today this would still be a very fair description of the country
seen on the road towards Mbarara from Itendero or Masheruka. "Across the
middle of the plain flows a marsh called Iksheragenyi, which appears to be
the upper part of the river Rwizi." From any modern map of Ankole it is
clear that this is describing the Kooga Swamp. The 1: 50,000 Kabwohc sheet
Fort George -e Romohoro Busoz
-tKiete e Bwero
err Kozingo /
igoro .-..,,. ..Ntono...
S.-* Iksheragenyi ango
Srm M Swamp" g -
MPORORO %Rumpoko Kochero
Mutl (Iter Mbororo)
'Katet (Nti -s)
1(0 1 (1'.
--- Outward Buddu to Ft.George
..., Ft George to Koki via Ntal's
Based on Map of SW Ugando,1900
0 Miles 20
0 Kms 32
MBARARA AREA IN DETA
----- Probable route
0 5 Miles
O 10 Km
_ C x_ --
marks a rise on the east side of this swamp, which is two miles northwest of
Kashaka Hill, and it bears the name Kichuragenyi. If Cunningham crossed
the Kooga near this point, he might well have been told this name (though
his spelling of it was his own), and so thought that the whole swamp was
called by that name.
On 26 August camp was made at Ruampoko. Of this place the report
states that, "Here an effort was made to induce us to take a northern road
towards Maronga, in the hope of getting us away from the neighbourhood
of Ntali's. It was quite evident' from the general scare that we had arrived
close to the latter's capital. The guides who brought us to Ruampoko fled
without even waiting for the customary present of cloth."'8 The crossing of
the Kooga near Kichuragenyi also fits in with the camp at Ruampoko, as
Rwempongo is about one mile north of Kashaka Hill, and Ntare's capital was
only about twelve miles away.
"Here (at Ruampoko) the messenger who came to Entebbe turned up,
accompanied by another ambassador from Ntali and a present cf sheep, sent
to ask what I had come for. I replied 'at his invitation to make a treaty',
and because he had told you (i.e. Colvile) Ntali wanted a European to come.
Hereupon the second envoy exclaimed that Ntali had never given such instruc-
tions to the other messenger. I declined to accept this, saying Ntali had sent
for us, and I must see him. He went off to see the King, and returned in the
evening with an ox, saying he had instructions to ask us to go to Maronga,
where I should hear from the King, and affirming that the latter had left his
village, and taken refuge in the mountains, as he would on no account see
a white man. I refused. He then said he would take us next day to a place
conveniently near to Ntali's from where negotiations could be conducted."
Next day (27 August) the march began at 6 a.m. and "the guide took
us by a road north into what seemed a sterile and waterless country." North
of Rwempongo lies a grassy, rather hilly region with the Kooga swamp away
to the west. Bearing in mind that it was August when the main dry season
is usually at its climax, with the grass burnt brown and a general air of
desolation, this description will cause no surprise, especially when the party
had come down from the higher, better watered country and passed through
the very swampy area of Sheema.
Cunningham rapidly came to the conclusion that he was being deceived,
and turned back. "After numerous stoppages I declined to go further. The
messengers went off to get fresh orders, and we marched across country back
to the main road to Ntali's, halting at 9 a.m. at Kasari." In fact it look as if
this day's march was entirely futile as "Kasari" was none other than the
name given to Kashaka Hill. Here Cunningham was crossing the route which
Stanley took when travelling south through Ankole in 1889.19
On 28 August another start was made with a similar result, the messenger
"trying to take us north, while I steered east, and after two hours march we
arrived in sight of Ntali's village. Here I halted at a place called Kitabwenda,
which we are told later was only one and half hours" from Ntare's. As both
Ishanya (site of the present Stock Farm) and Ruharo (where St. James'
Cathedral stands) are modern names derived from Luganda, Kitabwenda might
well have been either of these places. The former is likely as it would not
have been possible to get much further east in a two hours march.
CUNNINGHAM IN ANKOLE
In his Description of the Country, Cunningham says that "Ntali's village
is situated at the extreme southeast corner of this plain at the foot of a five
peaked hill named Katohika." Rather surprisingly he does not say that it
was also south of the Ruizi, although Colvile is quite definite on this point.20
The explanation given by the Ntare School History Society for a similar
omission by Stanley may well be true of Cunningham also; it is simply
that in the dry season the crossing the Ruizi provided no particular obstacle,
and so it was not mentioned.21
Many months of scanning the skyline in and around the Mbarara area
convinces me that there is only one hill which could be so described. Certain-
ly Cunningham cannot have been referring to the well-known hill, Kakiika,
a little to the north of the town. Even with the adjoining hill this cannot
be regarded as five-peaked, and of course it is north of the river. On the
other hand there is a rather distinctive hill which from certain directions
appears to be five-peaked, lying just across the river to the south of Bishop
Stuart T.T.C. at Kakoba. This is now marked as Kyarwanshashura although
earlier mans called it Bihunya, the name now given to the longer adjoining
hill. Locally, however, Kyarwansashura (the place of being paid back) is
known at present as Rwenkobe (the mountain of anes). Kakiika (the smooth
place) is also well-known locally, besides the hill already mentioned, for
example, the site on which Ntare school now stands was previously known
by that name. Thus there seems little reason why Cunningham should not
have been told that Ntare's capital was at the foot of Katohika, but meaning
Kyarwanshashura. Below the hill is an area now called Katete and here
Ntare certainly had a Kraal. Another factor indicating the same conclusion
is the comment that "immediately behind his village is a pass through the
hills leading towards the Ruampara mountains." Looking between Kyarwan-
shashura and Bihunya this is exactly impression one gets, although strictly
sneaking what one sees is the Gayaza ridge in Isingiro, a continuation of the
Having arrived at this conclusion it was learnt locally that "the Omugabe
Ntare established his place at Katete beyond the Ruizi river opposite Kakoba
in 1894. Then while at Katete the Omugabe ordered Mbaguta to sign on his
behalf the treaty with Major Cunningham."22
To return to the vicissitudes of the journey, Cunningham was at Kita-
bwenda on 28 August, and here "numerous messengers arrived from the
King, begging as they proceed to Maronga, where I should bear from him. I
replied that the King must send some person of note as his representative."
Unable to get the European to go away and clearly unwilling to attack him,
Ntare took some time to act. Not until the following afternoon does Cunning-
ham continue this story. "At 4 p.m. (29 August) the Katikiro Magota (Mba-
guta) arrived with full powers (he said). He signed the treaty for the King,
requested that a black man might be sent in future as your representative as
Ntali would not see a European."
Next day (30 August) "we marched at 6 a.m. and after one and half
hours arrived at Ntali's a mere village. His house is square and high,
surrounded by eight other huts of the usual beehive pattern, the whole in an
enclosure." However, Ntare himself had retired through the pass between the
hills "whilst about 500 of his spearman lined the pass and neighboring hills
as we approached."
Thus it took Cunningham's party ten days to travel from Fort George
to Ntare's but only some of these were effective full day marches. The 22nd-
26th were fairly full days, but the travelling done on the 27th. 28th and 30th
could have been accomplished on one normal days' march. The 29th was
spent at Kitabwenda. Only six or seven were effective marching days. A few
years later after the setting up of the European administration in Ankole.
the journey from Kazinga to Mbarara was reckoned as a six day one totalling
thirty and half hours marching,23 so that Cunningham's time was quite consis-
There was no point in lingering at the deserted capital so "the march
was resumed, the guides again taking us north." Presumably the Ruizi was
crossed immediately and then "the country becomes hilly and wooded though
the road is level, leading through the hills by a pass, along the side of a
valley into a small wooded plain, after which the hills narrow again, forming
a short pass, then opening out again into another small wooded plain." The
precise route here is hard to follow, especially as a wooded plain then might
by now have been cleared, but he must have passed to the west of Rwemigina
(5154 feet) and probably Kaburangira and Rwagaaju as well, so as to take
the pass through which the present Masaka road goes at about 7 miles.
Hereafter details are much more vague, but Cunningham was heading for the
capital of Kamswaga, King of Koki, which he did not reach until 5 September
complaining that the northern route taken by his guides proved to be
two days longer than a "direct road from Ntali's to Kamuswaga's".24 Clearly
he passed the northern end of Lake Kachira, somewhere near Lyantonde, and
then turned south until he reached Kamuswaga's village "which is situated a
day's march from the south of Lake Kachera, close to a small lake called
Rikondo." (Presumably this meant lake Kijanebalola).
Enough has now been said to show that Cunningham crossed Ankole
along a route not previously taken by a British traveller and that this can
be traced with some accuracy. Cunningham's own opinion was that "on the
return journey we took a road which led to Ntali's village, which I think
has never before been visited by a European. It is certainly marked wrong
on all the maps I have seen." Colvile shared this opinion describing "Ntali's
town "as a spot which I believe, no European had before succeeded in
Colvile was undoubtedly right, and Cunningham certainly was the first
European to travel from the Mbarara area across to Koki in the way he did.
However in his journey from Katwe he had been anticipated in general by
nearly a year. Captain Langheld of the German Imperial Army, having trav-
elled through Karagwe and Mpororo to Fort George, which he found aban-
doned and burnt, decided to return to Bukoba by the quickest way through
Ankole. On 12 September 1893 he arrived within four hours of Ntali's capital.
Suspicious of his intentions, the Omugabe's men asked him to move further off
to Birere (five miles south of Mbarara) on the following day. There, in a
tragic encounter, "at least twenty Banyankole were killed, including ten of
their leading men. A great many others were wounded." He then re-entered
Karagwe as quickly as possible.26
Details of Langheld's route are no clearer to me than this; that he,
too obviously made his way from Katwe to the Mbarara area. In so doing he
must have traversed similar country to that crossed by the British expedition,
CUNNINGHAM IN ANKLE
and therefore the Atlas of Uganda map of early travels again needs correcting
to indicate this journey.27
At all events Cunningham clearly showed considerable initiative and
determination in reaching Ntare's capital. In many ways he seems typical of
the more able British Military Officer of the time. Born in 1862 into a
soldiering family, George Glencairn Cunningham received his education at
Wellington College and Sandhurst. Writing of Wellington a decade later Mr.
G. F. H. Berkeley described it as, "an uncommonly good place during these
years a splendid institution for the Nation and for the Empire," aiming,
"to turn out a hardy and dashing breed of young officers."2 Cunningham
seems well enough to fit this description and distinguished himself in an un-
usual amount of active service for those days. Commissioned into the Duke
of Cornwall's Light Infantry in 1881 he went at once to the battle-fields of
Egypt and was awarded the 5th class of the Order of the Medjidieh. Then
after service in the Sudan stretching over five years he was promoted Captain
and Brevet Major in the Derby Regiment in 1889. A quieter period followed
before his service in Uganda from 19 January 1894 to 26 August 1896,
officially in civil employ but seeing plenty of action. He was wounded more
than once in Unyoro during his first months in the country, and after com-
manding the peaceful Ankole Expedition, as it was called, went on to com-
mand the much more warlike expeditions into Unyoro in 1895 and Nandi in
1895-1896, after which he received the D.S.O. Two years in West Africa
followed, firstly as a Brevet Lieut. Colonel on the Niger and then in Sierra
Leone, before the South Africa war broke out. Within a year he married, and
returned as a Colonel in the Royal Scots in 1909, only to be recalled for the
First World War. He finally retired in 1919 as a Brigadier General, with the
added award of the C.B.E. He died three days before his 81st birthday on
21 July 1945.
1. Colvile, H. E., The land of the Nile springs, London, Arnold, 1895 pp. 287-290.
Col. Colvile quotes the letter he received (as Commissioner) from J. P. Wilson,
dated Marongo, 17 July 1894, Entebbe Secretariat Archives (hereafter ESA) file
2. Early travels, Atlas of Uganda, first edition, 1962, p.73, second edition, 1967, p.73.
3. Langlands, B. W., 'Early travellers in Uganda'. (Uganda Journal, 26, 1962, p. 64).
4. The inclusion of Cunningham's name on the Atlas map depends only only upon
a brief reference to the establishment of British administration in the district in
K. Ingham, The making of modern Uganda, London, Allen and Unwini, 1958,
5. Williams, F. L., 'Early explorers in Ankole', (Uganda Journal, 2, 1935, pp. 196-
208). There is a brief account, though, in Williams' article 'Nuwa Mbaguta,
Nganzi of Ankole', (Uganda Journal, Vol. 10, no. 2, 1946, pp. 127-129). This is
based on Parliamentary Paper, Africa, no. 7 (1895), no. 53.
6. Ntare School History Society, 'The journey of Stanley through Ankole in 1889'.
(Uganda Journal, 29, 1965, pp. 185-192).
7. Map of Uganda, J. R. L. Macdonald, Intelligence Division, War Office, 1900,
(1 inch to 10 miles). The reason for the full treatment given to Macallister's
activities by Macdonald was that the former had drawn a map of the District of
Ankole, which was forwarded from Entebbe to London on the 26 April 1900
(Public Record Office in London: FO. 2/298, no. 99). Macallister very properly
marked his map with the "roads traversed in 1899 and 1900" and Macdonald
incorporated this information onto his map. Macallister's "Sketch Map of Ankole
District" (1 inch to 10 miles) will be found in the map room P.R.O., under MPK.
8. Personal communication from B'. W. Langlands.
9. Cunningham, G. G., The report of the Ankole Expedition, Cunningham to Com-
missioner, Port Alice, 24 September 1894. ESA, A/2/3: referred to subsequently
as Report no. 1.
10. Cunningham, G. G, Description of the country passed through by the Ankole
Expedition 1894. via King Ntale's capital. ESA, 2/2/2, 24 September 1894; sub-
sequently referred to as Report no. 2 He also wrote two letters en route (i) from
Marongo dated the 6 August (ii) from Kazinga ferry dated 21 August. Both are
in file A/2/2.
11. Report no. 1, op. cit.
12. Report no. 2, op. cit.
13. Letter from J. P. Wilson to Commissioner from Kazinga ferry dated 21 August
1894. ESA, file A/2/2.
14. Quotations hereafter, until otherwise stated, are taken from Report no. 2, op. cit.
15. Lands and Surveys Archives, Entebbe; Miscellaneous no. 76. Sketch map of
Ankole District, 1910 (scale 1 inch to 10 miles).
16. Frequently it appears that Cunningham was told the name of an 'area' when
enquiring for the name of a particular 'place'. Thus as well as Rusoze, he used
present county names Igara. Sima (Sheema) and Kasari (Kashari) as though they
were particular places.
17. Elliot, G. F. Scott, A naturalist in mid-Africa, London, Innes, 1896, has a map
of East Africa. This marks what must have been Cunningham's route, though
it is not named as such, and gives the place-names Igara, Nengo, Sima, Nsara,
Ntali, but the location of the last named is clearly erroneous.
18. This and the following quotations are taken from Report no. 1, op. cit., unless
19. Williams, op. cit. speaks of Kashari. p. 200, "This place is the same as the present
(Kashaka)" and the Ntare School group also agreed with this, op. cit., p. 190.
20. Colvile. op. cit., p. 293.
21. Ntare School, op. cit., p. 190. For another possibility see note 48 to D. Weeks
'John Macallister and the town of Mbarara 1898-1900', Uganda Journal, Vol. 37,
1973, p. (This issue).
22. From information supplied by Mr. A. G. Katete, personal communication. Wil-
liams, F. L. 'Nuwa Mbaguta', op. cit., p. 128 states that Ntare's "was situated at
this time at Kaigoshora in Kashari county." This would not seem to be correct,
and it is probably explained by the fact that Ntare was soon to be chased "up
to the north-eastern border with Buganda" by invasion from Rwanda. (Karugire,
S. R. A history of the kingdom of Nkore, pp. 229-230). He died at Kaigsohora
less than a year after Cunningham's journey. Kaigoshora is about ten miles north
of Mbarara and does not fit Cunningham's account at several points.
23. Woodward, E. L., Precis of information concerning The Uganda Protectorate,
Intelligence Division, War Office, H.M.S.O., 1902, Route 14 Mbarara-Kazinga
(Alternative route), p. 124.
24. Report no. 2. op. cit.
25. Colvile. op. cit., p. 293.
26. Sir John Gray's unpublished A history of Ankole, gives details of Langheld's
activity as drawn from W. Langheld's Zwanzig jahre in Deutschen Kolonien, p.
164. A cony of this has been deposited in the Royal Commonwealth Society
Library. I am most grateful to the Librarian and the Mr. A. T. Matson, literary
executor. for permission to quote from page 59 of this work.
27. In compiling the Atlas map the omission of Langheld's journey was known (cf.
Langlands, op. cit., p. 62). though it was mistakenly believed that the passage
through south Ankole had taken place in early 1892. not 1893. It was not, how-
ever, realized that Langheld got as far as Fort George. Personal communication
from B. W. Langlands.
28. Berkeley, G. F. H.. My recollections of Wellington College, pp. 21-23, quoted in
Newsome, D., Godliness and good learning, p. 201.
Uganda Journal, 37 (1973) pp.63-80.
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
By A. H. FAWCETr
The KPtwe salt deposits have long been regarded as an economic asset
by the Bakonjo ard Batoro peoples, ard historically the salts produced by
traditional methods have been the basis of extensive trade. The industrial
exploitation of the minerals for the economic benefit of all the people of
Uganda is a natural wish whose fulfilment depends upon several factors.
The size, structure and composition of the deposits must be defined and a
method established for making these valuable materials available in a form
suitable for treatment in a chemical plant. The markets for the possible
products must be determined. A chemical process must als, be found which
would produce materials economically to satisfy these markets. Different
aspects of three factors have received attention by chemists, chemical engin-
eers, geologists and economists since the 1930's. This article describes the
contributions to the problem of developing the salt deposits and shows
how the problem itself has changed in response to the work of different
people. Much of the account is contained in files kindly made available by
the Uganda Development Corporation' and the Geological Survey of Uganda.
Traditional Methods of Salt Recovery:
Traditionally three methods of obtaining salt have been practised at
Katwe.2,3 In two of these the naturally produced salt is simply collected.
The largest source of salt is the solid crust which extends over all the lake.
In some years as last in 1957, when there had been a lengthy period of
drought coinciding with good evaporating conditions, the bed of the lake
has been exposed. Generally the crust lies under a layer of surface brine,
and is gathered from all over the lake by salt winners. They detach the
crust and float it to the edge of the lake on trains of ambatch rafts. This
material is termed Katwe No. 3 salt. The No. 1 salt is obtained towards
the end of the dry seasons (March and August) by natural evaporation of
the surface brine. During the day the salt forms on the surface of the lake.
The crystals are blown across the surface by the wind until they reach the
edge of the lake or man-made obstacles, where the crystals sink to be
collected at suitable intervals. The No. 2 salt is obtained by a less hapha-
zard development of this process. The surface brine is evaporated in mud-
lined salt pans located on the southeast side of the lake. Initially a porous
film forms on the surface, but this regularly sinks and a new one forms.
Such salt is harvested about once a week in the dry season.
The salts so obtained are very variable in appearance. After a period
of warm weather the surface brine has a reddish colour from the presence
of red halophylic bacteria. Thus grade 1 and 2 are often tinted pink. The
No. 2 grade may also be greyish in colour from its mud content. The parti-
cles are flake-like in shape and up to 1 cm in width. The No. 2 salt
consists of large lumps which have a striated structure. One large slab of
this salt was recovered in 1944 and analysed for the East African Research
Board. Seven different layers could be discerned, distinguished by factors
such as pink colour, mud inclusion or mud dividing layer, size of crystals
and openness of structure. The layers were analysed by weight as sodium
salts, and bicarbonate grouped with carbonate.
sodium sodium sodium Total %
chloride sulphate carbonate of
Layer No. % NaCl % Na,SO, % Na,CO, salts
1 62.7 24.7 10.1 97.5
2 13.8 51.0 28.5 92.3
3 72.3 17.8 6.0 95.1
4 3.9 56.5 31.1 91.5
5 6.3 59.0 28.7 94.2
6 10.3 55.9 28.7 94.8
7 5.4 45.0 38.2 88.6
When gathering the No. 3 salt from the lake crust the salt winners
select the better pieces of salt and wash off the worst of the mud, but it still
may be said that the No. 3 salt is not pure sodium chloride. The other
grades of salt are also contaminated with carbonate and sulphate. No. 1
salt containing up to 95% sodium chloride and No. 2 containing up to 85%
sodium chloride have been obtained but generally the purity is much lower
than this. The presence of salts other than the chloride is not necessarily
a disadvantage. In the cooking of vegetables carbonate maintains the green
colour and speeds the softening of hard tissues. Carbonates have the well
known medicinal property of reducing stomach acidity, while sodium
sulphate, like Eor-om salts (MgSO.. 7HO) has the ability to reduce consti-
pation. Such useful attributes, which give Katwe salt a "broad spectrum"
character do not fully compensate for the uncertainty in the composition
and the variable appearance. This has been generally recognized and was
reflected in the price of the salt grades in 1953 for example when all three
grades were obtained, Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were priced ex-works at an average
cost per ton of 6.6, 6.0 and 4.04. More often in other years the No. 2
salt was priced closer to the No. 3 salt.5
During the beginning of this century the processes just described were
administered for the Mukama of Toro. The salt inspectorate was said to
have been subverted by Indians and Swahilis living at Katwe during the
period 1929 to 19333. Consequently in 1933 there was a reorganisation, with
a Mr. Winyi being brought from the nearby salt lake at Kasenyi to admin-
ister a salt trust at Katwe and the Indians were banished from Katwe to
found the township of Kabatoro. In the 1940's permanent buildings were
completed for offices and personnel accommodation and Katwe was linked
to the main road which passes through Katunguru. These developments led
to an increase in output by traditional methods from about 150 tons per
annum with a value of about 200 in the 1930's5 to about 5000 tons per
annum and a value of about 20,000 in the early 1950's.4
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
Attempts to improve upon the Traditional Methods:
In March 1945 a new phase of production started. Dr. Koenig reported
to the EA. Industrial Research Board with a "Survey of Uganda Salt Lakes
and Saltwinning Methods."6 During the next month a chemist with ex-
perience of Lake Magadi, a large soda lake in Kenya, surveyed the lake
and noted the prevailing conditions for evaporation.7 Traversing the lake
in a canoe at the end of a six week dry spell Stevens found that the depth
of the surface brine was then uniformly between 15 and 25 cm and the
density within the range 1.26 to 1.28 g/ml. The salt deposits were plumbed
with a crowbar to find an impenetrable layer at a depth between 45 and 80
cm. He made temperature, wind speed, and humidity measurements inside
and outside the crater and located springs above the level of the lake in
the north and southwest parts of the crater. The salt content of these
springs was of the order of 0.3%, one hundredth of the weight of salts in
the surface brine.
Stevens estimated the salt reserves as 14m tons, using his measured
values of the brine and crust composition, the depth and porosity of the
crust. He took the area of the lake as 2.7 X 108 square feet from Groves
map* as reproduced by T. A. Koenig.9
On the basis of these surveys the Western Provincial Commissioner
met with the Salt Trust Trustees and the Assistant District Commissioner
on 8 June 1948, and during the discussion it was agreed that "failing to
adopt modem methods of production and refinement of Katwe Salt.
Toro is wasting what could be a source of considerable revenue".3 Mr.
Stevens was subsequently appointed as consultant to the Katwe Salt Trust
to discover suitable modern methods of production and refinement. He was
provided with a staff which included a Makerere-trained analyst, an assist-
ant manager and a clerk, and a laboratory together with staff quarters
and offices. The rest house overlooking the lake was built at this time.
Experiments to produce pure sodium chloride from the impure mater-
ials available were initiated. The process aimed to remove sulphate and
carbonate from the No. 1 salt by leaching them out with either settled sur-
face brine or freshwater. Laboratory trials, in which the salt was washed
twenty times in succession in a counter-current fashion produced 99.7%
pure sodium chloride with the loss of one third of the raw material.'0
Performing this on a commercial scale proved difficult to achieve, the
equipment which was obtained required modification and suffered from
corrosion. The specifications for the raw material were rather stringent:
suitable material was 92% sodium chloride, 5% sulphate and 2% carbonate,
with a trace of insoluble material. Of the 295 tons of No. 1 salt available
in May 1950, only 120 tons was thought suitable for processing. When the
site, known as the Kaabamba Salt Works was visited by the Katikiro and
Muketo of Toro and the Provincial and District Commissioners at that
date, no processed salt had been produced. Mr. Stevens was offered but
declined the post of Resident Manager, which position was then taken by
a Mr. J. A. Skrbensky.
A much simplified procedure was next examined." Grade 1 salt was
washed in digestors, large rectangular pans built one above the other on
the slope of the hillside, and in these the salt was turned over under a layer
of liquor. On three successive days the salt was moved one pan up the hill
while the liquor was drained downwards. 1.8 tons of raw material gave 1
ton of purified salt in which soluble impurities were less than 0.3%. In-
soluble impurities tended to remain in the salt when the liquor was drained
off. Trials by TUFMAC for preserving fish at Kasenyi found that the salt
was unacceptable: the fish turned black. Other factors became manifest and
contributed to the termination of the development activities in April 1951.
Only No. 1 salt could he processed and this could be sold in its cruder
form anyway. The small market for purified salt at TUFMAC, 50 tons per
annum, could not then be satisfied, and would not justify expenditure upon
development. The absence of salt winners in the latter half of 1950 prevent-
ed the collection of No. 1 salt and so delayed trials, and itself suggested that
the raw material would not be in regular supply.2 Total expenditure upon
the up-grading investigations was estimated at 22,000, and it was doubtful
if selling the product at the arbitrary price of 10 per ton was covering
At the same time as these experiments designed to purify the available
salt were in hand at Katwe a more basic study of the problem was under-
way. The industrial production of salt on a large scale could be contem-
plated since better communications, both road and rail, were to be cons-
tructed between the Katwe area and the rest of Uganda.
The surface brine is a solution of various ionic substances in water.
The chief components have been determined repeatedly ever since Stanley
collected his sample in 1892.13 The average of 15 sets of analyses with the
ranges are, in g/litre: Na+152 (60), K+28 (14), Cl-47 (40), SO,=52 (30)
CO,= (including HCO,=) 55 (30). Other substances such as bromide and
iodide occur in minor proportions. In order to resolve the brine into pure
salts by solely physical means two parameters may lie varied: the tempera-
ture and the amount of water present. In general the solubilities of the single
salts whose ions are present in the brine rise with temperature reflecting
the endothermic nature of the dissolution processes.14 Some solubility
curves show a discontinuity at the temperature which corresponds to the
change in the amount of water of crystallisation. The solubilities of potas-
sium chloride, sodium sulphate and sodium carbonate are strongly tempe-a-
ture dependent, the latter two showing steep falls below about 30*C while
the solubility of sodium chloride is relatively temperature independent.
Unfortunately the solubilities of these single salts in combined solutions do
not follow the same pattern. Mixed salts such as trona (Na2CO,.NaHCO.,.
2HO) and glaserite (Na2SO,.3K,SO,) form by evaporation of solutions of the
ions in certain proportions.15.
The possible interference of the glaserite phase contributed to the
rejection16 of a brine treatment process suggested by Lieut. Col. Pelling in
1946.17 He proposed that the surface brine be pretreated with lime to remove
the carbonate and sulphate as their insoluble calcium salts. The halophylic
bacteria and other organic matter would be absorbed in the precipitate. The
main process would depend upon the different temperature coefficients of
the salts solubilities in the NaCl/NaCO,/H,O system between 35 C and
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
about 100*C. The treatment of Magadi brine depends upon these solubility
relationships in the range of 15 C to about 40"C, and there the process is
achieved in open pans, daily temperature changes coupled with good condi-
tions for evaporation producing alternate crops of sodium chloride during
the day and sodium carbonate during the night.18 Pelling rejected solar
pans for Katwe in favour of fuel heating with the consequence that the
temperatures concerned would be much higher than the Magadi range. Dr.
A. J. V. Underwood was consulted and in writing to the E.A. Industrial
Research Board felt that the pretreatment might leave sufficient sulphate
for it to contaminate the product as glaserite or sodium sulphate, particularly
if the liquor were recycled through the plant to improve the yields. The
fate of the potash was also uncertain. Perhaps the most telling criticism
rested upon the seasonal fluctuations in the brine density. To obtain one
ton of salt in the dry season, two tons of water should be evaporated, but
in the wet season this figure might rise to five tons. Designing efficient plant
to cope with such a variation would be impossible.
At this stage in the investigation of the Katwe problem there became
available the extensive results of the investigation of Teeple into the system
NaCl/NaCO3/Na2SO,/KCl/H20.15 The brine in the interstices of trona
crystals m the bed of Searles Lake in California has a similar composition
.0 tt.t at Katwe and the basis for its treatment is the research into phase
relationship described by Teeple. Underwood's warning about the possible
interference of glaserite was based upon these results, but a second sugges-
tion by Pelling19 avoided the problem by following very closely the practice
of the potash producing plant at Trona. Since Pelling's idea is similar to
that which it is at present expected to be established at Katwe, it is worth
describing in some detail.
At least five different solid phases may exist in equilibrium with water
containing Na+, K+, Cl-, SO,=, and CO, = the identity and number of them
being dependent upon the liquor composition and temperature. These are
NaC1, KC1, glas~ette, burkeite (Na2CO3.2Na2SO,) and Na2CO,.HO.15 It
is impossible to represent all five variables upon one diagram but the form
of figures 1 and 2 shows the features in a suitable way. Each diagram corres-
ponds to a certain value of the temperature variable, while it is understood
that the liquors are saturated with NaCI. The relative nrlar proportions of
the three variables CO,=, SO,= and 2K+ are represented by each point on
the triangles. The interpretation of the diagrams may be helped by consider-
ing the line from 2K+ to BT in figure 2. At the former end only NaCI is
present in solution and as solid phases, while at the latter the solutions
contain sulphate and carbonate in the ratio of 2:1. Burkeite an,' NaCI are
the solid phases present at this point. At the point P a third phase, pgaserite,
appears and if the potassium proportion is further increased the liquor "om-
position leaves the burkeite field and moves through the glaserite field until
at 0 potassium chloride is in equilibrium with the solution.
The point F on each triangle corresponds approximately to the relative
proportions of SO,=, 2K+ and CO,= in the brine. If water is removed from
the brine at 35*C or if the temperature of the brine is raised towards 100*C
burkeite forms. If evaporation is carried out NaCl also forms in the solid
state. The liquor composition is consequently altered, and on the diagrams
moves from F in the direction away from BT, eventually reaching the gla-
The system NaCI/Na2SO4j
at 350 C Br
(All points on the
diagram are~ saturated
with NaCI ) Na
The system NaCL/Na2SOl
(All points on
the diagram BT
with NaCL )
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
serite field at R, if the temperature is 350C. Since the formation of the
potash-containing glaserite is not wanted the evaporation is carried out
at an elevated temperature. Evaporation is achieved most simply at the
boiling point of the liquor. Figure 2 shows that the next solid phase to
appear is NaCO,.HO. Following this the liquor composition will approach
S, at which point Pelling proposed that the solid phases should be separated
from the liquor and leached to reduce the carbonate and sulphate contents
to tolerable levels. The liquor at point S when cooled would yield potassium
chloride crystals, as is indicated by the line from S to T, on figure 1. This
suggestion, though worthy of further investigation, was rejected, perhaps
because of the variable density of the surface brine and appears not to have
received any further attention.
Laboratory Investigations, Market Survey and Lake Surveys
A more comprehensive study of the problem was clearly required
following the failure of these initial schemes.3 Upon the establishment of
the Uganda Mineral Resources (Research) Committee in 1952, a chemist,
Mr. A. E. O. Marzys was appointed with Katwe as one of his responsibilities
Before a proper investigation of the reserves at Katwe could be made by
drilling into the bed of the lake, it was felt that drilling in other places
should first be performed to allay the fears of the salt winners that their
traditional way of harvesting the salt would be jeopardised. Boreholes of
depths from 60 to 120 m were sunk in the dry crater Kwensolo at Kasenyi,
and in lake Kikorongo where brine was found at a depth of 110 m. This
in contrast to Kasenyi and Katwe was relatively rich in magnesium and
sulphate, but low in sodium and chloride. In no other place was brine found
in useful quantities, nor was there any evidence of solid salt deposits, the
core samples containing only volcanic ash. In early 1953 drilling was trans-
ferred to Katwe without any objection from the inhabitants. Under the
direction of Mr. T. Blomquist four boreholes were drilled to depth of 110
to 150 m around the perimeter of the lake. The solid materials retrieved
during the boring contained 5 to 10% of water-soluble salts. Brine was
found at several levels, generally much more dilute than in the lake, part-
icularly in the ridge between lakes Katwe and Idi Amin Dada.
When reviewing the situation3 Marzys considered that an evaporation
plant could be built only if two factors were satisfied, These were that
cheap fuel should be available and that other salts besides common salt
should find a market. Alternatively solar energy might be used if well con-
structed salt pans were made and the brine were pretreated with lime to
reduce its sulphate and carbonate content. A salt similar to No. 2 might
thus be obtained. During 1954 and 1955 various ideas were investigated in
the laboratory.20 Solar evaporation of the surface brine produced salt which
was quite impure: if only half of the potential sodium chloride were pre-
cipitated other salts contaminated it to the extent of about a quarter of
its weight. We have seen that from figure 1 burkeite and them glaserite
would form with the common salt. An initial treatment with lime was
feasible for limestone was known to occur at Hima which is near to Katwe.
The Trona carbonation process was also simulated. In this carbon dioxide,
which in a plant would be available in fluegas is combined with carbonate
to form the relatively insoluble bicarbonate or trona.21 Though this process
was found lengthy and incomplete in effect, it was felt worthy of further
investigation. Supplementing the carbonation stage with liming, salts of at
least 95% purity were obtained by the following four stage process. A satis-
factory 66% of the potential common salt in the brine was recovered.
I Carbonation: precipitation of sodium bicarbonate, with the removal
of organic matter.
I Liming: to complete carbonate removal, and to remove some sulphate.
III Freezing to -5C: precipitation of Glaubers salt (Na2SO,. IOH20).
IV Evaporation by boiling until potash is saturated: NaC1 formed.
The remaining liquor was a rich source of potash.
Also at this time the "higher brine" process of Trona was tested but
found inapplicable. It depends upon the phase relationships already utilised
by Pelling in his second suggestion, coupled with a hydraulic crystal classi-
fication process.22 At Trona it is found that in practice the composition moves
along the curved line shown in figure 2. Large cubic crystals form of sodium
chloride together with fine needle-like crystals of burkeite whose composition
ranges on either side of the ideal 2:1 ratio for SO, =:CO,=. In a stream of up-
ward-moving liquor the burkeit crystals are floated out of a bed of the larger
cubic crystals. At Entebbe it was found impossible to establish conditions
leading to the growth of distinguishable crystals of the two substances.23
Crystal growth can be very sensitive to small levels of impurities,4 so it
is possible that the surface brine contained some interfering trace of mineral
or of organic substance. It would perhaps have more fruitful if attention
had been directed to the problem of simulating the Trona process whose
engineering requirements are well understood rather than attempting to
devise a completely novel process. In his book published in 1929, The
Industrial Development of Searles Lake Brines, which came into the pos-
session of the Katwe Salt Trust in 1950, Teeple states "the presence of
carbonate in the brine is what renders concentration by evaporation possi-
ble, and this is why methods that begin with a carbon dioxide treatment to
remove carbonate are not commercially practicable if the next step is to be
evaporation. Yet this is the first thought that comes to the minds of most
chemists when given such a liquor for commercial treatment."15 The point
can be understood by referring to the diagrams. If the carbonate content
of the brine is reduced, the liquor composition moves from F towards the
SO,=/CO,= side of the triangles. Subsequent evaporation of the brine at
high temperatures would cause glaserite to separate out along with the
burkeite and common salt. This would complicate the hydraulic separation
as well as produce potash in a solid form in which it is perforce conta-
minated with sodium. While potassium sulphate is a desirable form of
potash, the inclusion of sodium is a disadvantage agriculturally.
Teeple does not, for reasons of commercial proprietary, indicate his
solution to the problem, which at Trona is different anyway, for there potash
and borax are the valuable products. He is much concerned with deprecating
the "cookery" type of chemistry he found there on his arrival at Trona.
To compensate for the undesirable increase in the sulphate proportion
attendant upon carbonation, Marzys found it necessary to follow that step
by a sulphate removing stage before the sodium chloride could be recovered.
Though such a process might yield a liquor from which common salt would
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
be obtained upon evaporation, it is inherently less efficient than the Trona
process which achieves sodium chloride crystallisation in a single stage.
The refrigeration stage would be a particularly large consumer of power.
The discovery of the hydraulic classification methods at Trona was accident-
al, being made when improvements in the filtration of potash-rich liquor
was being sought. Of all the chemists who have given Katwe brine their
attention, only Pelling has not first thought of carbonation as the necessary
preliminary stage for treatment.
The problem of resolving the brine into saleable substances cannot be
the only consideration before the establishment of a chemical plant at Katwe.
Factors such as the size of the resources, costs, both capital and running,
the degree of import substitution and a market for the products are quite
as decisive. Under the first heading a serious blow was struck to the viability
of the enterprise when it was realized, following a map based upon air
photographs becoming available,25 the real area of the lake was less than
that used by Stevens by a factor of 9.26 Evidently the imperial foot and
yard had been confused when scaling a map of the lake. Sampling the brine
crust was performed anew, and from the analyses B. H. Dembo recalculated
the size of the reserves as 1.7 m tons of salts. It was felt "probable that
further reserves exist below this [55 cm] level" and that a brine of constant
composition, and thus more suitable as feed stock, could be obtained from
the lake bed, but for reasons of cost and for fear of upsetting the saltwinners
and their dependents this investigation had not been done.26
In July 1955 Herr A. Hajek partially remedied this lack of knowledge.27
A light man-powered drill was carried through 5 cm of surface brine across
the crust to five well scattered sites in turn. Holes to a depth of 5 m were
drilled in the centre of the lake before solid material, described as "well
compacted sand" which at one place was even like "granite" under the
impact of the bit was found but not penetrated. As the bottom of one hole
was reached it was observed that the surface brine was suddenly drawn into
the hole, but no gas was evolved. This "somewhat aueer fact" suggesting
evacuated spaces was a little disconcerting. After he had drawn a profile
of the crater sides from the photographic survey map, Hayek extrapolated
under the lake to estimate its depth as 30 m. The hard deposits were simply
an intervening stratum in the lake beds. It was also observed that a 32 H.P.
electricity generator might be powered by water run from Lake Idi Amin
Dada to a turbine beside Lake Katwe.
The market survey was projected forward to 1966 when a plant might
be operating. The conclusions are indicated on the table on the following
The influence of the Magadi deposits may be seen. There common salt and
soda ash are produced, both being available in inexhaustible quantities
and by a cheap process using solar energy,18 so that exports to Kenya and
the outside world from Katwe would be uneconomic on account of trans-
port costs and the Magadi competition. Katwe might supply the markets for
these two substances which were fairly well developed in Uganda and the
neigbouring countries to the west and south. The traditional salt export
from Katwe to Zaire could be replaced with better quality plant-produced
salt. The East African consumption of sodium sulphate was expected to be
small until a paper works was established at Broderick Falls. Potash fertilizer
MARKETS FOR THE SALTS IN 1960
Tons/yr Value/ton Market Consumption
NaCl 30,000 8 Uganda, Human, animal,
Zaire, salting out of soap,
Rwanda, caustic soda and
Burundi. chlorine production?
NaCO, 7000 7 Uganda, Soap manufacture,
Zaire. washing soda,
Kilembe might use
more for one dressing.
NaSO, no limit 10 World
KCI few East Africa Fertiliser especially for
thousand coffee and tea.
was little utilised in East Africa at that time. The market was judged to be
very sensitive to price, availability and knowledge of the potential benefits.
Upon the foundation of the Uganda Development Corporation, its
Technical Development Division commenced an investigation of Marzys
proposals for the multi-stage treatment of the brine. Fairly elaborate equip-
ment was bought for the pilot-scale trials which were started in 1958 by
Mr. J. McGarry.28 To gauge the effect of equipment size, two carbonation
vessels were used of 10 and 30 gallon capacity) and the liquor was agitated
to speed up the dissolution of the gas. The effects of temperature, pressure
and proportion of inert gases in the carbon dioxide were studied in an
attempt to shorten the time required. Satisfactory salt recovery could be
obtained, but the potash purity was far too low (<50%). An alternative
method of carbonation using packed towers was thought worthy of atten-
tion. Before confident recommendations could be made from the pilot plant
work the government withdrew their financial support for the division and
the investigations were terminated in December 1958. It was some time
before the development of Katwe received any further attention.
The "Morton and Old Report"
During 1967 Dr. W. H. Morton and Mr. rt. A. Old of the Geological
Survey of Uganda carried out a programme of drilling and pitting into the
salt reserves below the lake.29 A base line was drawn across its centre from
the laboratory on the southwest shore to a prominent point in the inlet.
At five suitable places along this line circular dykes of 9 m diameter were
built of salt and mud to keep back the surface brine. Only in the dry
season, when the brine was saturated, could the structures be used: in
the wet season the brine was too dilute and quickly enlarged the
holes. While the sites were kept dry by pumping, pits were dug to a depth
of the minerals, assuming an average density of 2.3/g/ml, indicated that
structures which were revealed persist across the lake. These layers were
of great variety in appearance and thickness (1 to 15 cm). Burkeite, hank-
site (9Na,SO,. 2Na,CO,. KCI), halite (NaCI), trona, and a pasty carbonate
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
A cubic foot sample of the upper layer was taken to determine the
porosity of the salts, that is the proportion of the volume occupied by
freely-draining brine. From the change in weight of a sample upon heat-
ing it was estimated that 37% of the space was occupied by retained brine.
After allowing for the salts produced when this brine dried out, the weight
of the minerals, assuming an average density of 2,3g/ml, indicated that
they occupied a further 37% of the volume. With mud and gas pockets
each taking 3% the porosity figure of 20(=10)% was obtained. The large
proportion of undrained space was consistent with the fact that pits could
be dug without flooding.
With a Bank drill five boreholes were made to a depth of 13 m. The
core was recovered to a limited extent in the form of small chips. A power
drill was mounted upon a platform and three holes made with a core
drill to a depth of 52 m. From the limited amount of core obtained three
salt-containing zones were recognized: an upper zone of mixed salts down
to the 51 m level of mud, a middle zone of large burkeite and trona cry-
stals, and below a 3 m thick layer of mud starting at 14 m down a lower
trona layer. At 42 m mud layers were again encountered, and they contain-
ed besides calcite the rare minerals tychite (2MgCO,.2Na.CO,.Na,SO4) and
northunite (MgCO,.NaCO,.NaC1) which occur as octahedral crystals.30
When the three methods of sampling from the top 2 m of the salt
body were compared it was found that core drilling was biased in favour
of hard minerals, and thus underestimated potassium and chloride. The
Bank drill samples were consistent with the pit samples, but the reserve
estimation was recognized as being unreliable because of the unsatisfactory
sample recovery.31 Brine samples were obtained from boreholes lined to
about 6m. and the mean composition found, in g/litre: NaCI 177, NaSO,
99, Na,CO, 76, NaHCO, 9, KCI 5.4. KBr 1, pH 9.7. The
amounts of fluoride, iodide and borate were also found. Except for the
bicarbonate, which had a range of 60% about the mean, the components
had a range of about 25%, though the density of the brine was much
more constant at 1.28g/ml. When digging the pits workmen were over-
come by hydrogen sulphide.
The dimensions of the deposit were calculated allowing for thinning
out near the shore and the absence of the lower zone in the inlet. Using
the pit sample porosity value of 20% and the most reliable solid analysis
results it was conservatively estimated that the lake contained, in millions
of tons: NaCI 1.6, NaSO, 2.0, Na-CO, (including the bicarbonate) 17.5,
KCI 0.6, These figures were recognized as being sensitive to the value of
salt porosity used,31 since the mean composition of unit volumes of brine
and solids was so different, particularly for the ions of immediate potential
value, chloride and potassium. Uncertainty was also introduced by the low
core recovery obtained and its bias towards hard material, so that though
large salt reserves had been found their exact quantities remained to be
Pump tests were carried out to assess the effects of long term pump-
ing, 30.32 the brine being pumped (at a rate of 27ms/hr) from centrally
situated boreholes lined to depths of 10 to 12 m. The draw down was
measured, and from its value and its change with time the transmissibility
(T) and storage coefficient (S) of the brine reserves were calculated. T was
relatively high, indicating that considerable quantities of brine could be
pumped from the salt body without the pores becoming blocked. S had a
value typical of a confined aquifer, suggesting that the mud layer found
by Hajek was impenetrable, but prolonged pumping caused an increase in
T as downward seepage of wet season brine enlarged the pores. The core
recovered from a subsequently drilled observation hole showed evidence
of crystal dissolution, in confirmation of this interpretation of the pump
tests. The middle layer will thus become a leaky aquifer.
It was suggested that the best method of extracting the reserves would
be by pumping out the interstitial brine which would be replaced by lateral
movement from the side of the lake and downward seepage of surface
brine.29 The least abundant substances, such as chloride and potassium,
would be leached from the solids though eventually these reserves would
also become depleted so that the feedstock would become richer in sul-
phate and carbonates over a period of years. Morton judged that further
pump tests would be required if over half of any substance were removed
during a amortisation period of the plant.31
One of the features of lake Katwe is that depth of the surface brine
is rarely outside the limits of 5 to 50 cm. Annual precipitation and open
pan evaporation are about 0.8 and 1.9 m respectively,33 but for brine the
latter figure should be reduced to about 1.9 m. Morton attributed the
difference to run off from within the crater without which the lake would
dry out.3 It is unlikely that the surface is part of an extensive water table,
there as once suggested by Wayland for the constancy of its level,2 for the
rocks are fairly impermeable and their water content is much less saline
than the lake waters3 so that a hydrostatic equilibrium cannot be esta-
blished. A factor tending to stabilise the lake level is the inverse relation-
ship between rate of evaporation and brine density. Since inflow and out-
flow are so nicely balanced the occasional non-production of Nos. 1 and
2 salts during poor dry seasons is not unexpected. The climatic regime
within the crater is not so favourable as for example at Magadi where a
similarly highly concentrated brine is regularly evaporated to produce salts
in the open.18 It would probably be unwise to depend upon solar evapora-
tion for industrial production of salts at Katwe.
German participation with the Uganda Development Corporation
The Morton and Old report was sufficient indication of the suitability
of the Katwe deposits as a source of raw materials for a salt recovery
industry that the Uganda Government appointed the Imhausen Internation-
al Company of Germany in 1969 to prepare a feasibility study. This
proposed35 a process which would produce common salt (50.000 tons/yr),
sodium sulphate (26,500 tons/yr) and potassium chloride (5,400 tons/yr).
After the removal of carbonate by carbonation sulphate was to be obtain-
ed, first by evaporation then by freezing. Subsequently salt and potassium
chloride would be formed in successive evaporation and cooling stages.
The West German Government indicated that it might be willing to finance
a profitable plant with capital aid, and commissioned Deutsche Beratungs-
gesellschaft fir Salinentechnic to evaluate the problem (in six weeks) as
part of the Technical Aid programme to Uganda. DBS were impressed with
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
the equatorial location of Katwe, and being aware that the Imhausen
proposals involved high fuel and power consumption, since a refrigeration
stage is sandwiched between two fuelled evaporation stages, they suggested
that solar evaporation should be used. Any plant operations should be
restricted to mechanical processes such as crystal washing and classifica-
tion based upon crystal size. Four different schemes were suggested for
treating the brine, but for their favoured process "no absolute guarantee
could be given "that it would yield a marketable salt.36
When the two sets of proposals were considered in November 1970 by
representatives of the firms, together with Kreditapstalt fiir Wiederaufbau,
financial advisors to the German Government, it was recognized that the
Imhausen proposals were unsuitable, for they depended upon the profitable
sale of sodium sulphate, and this would cost almost as much to rail to
Mombasa (120 shs/ton) as the price which could be obtained on the world
market (150 shs/ton). The difference would hardly cover the cost of re-
moving the water of crystallisation from the Glaubers salt and transport
to the railhead at Kasese. There was no known demand in East Africa at
that time for the quantities of this material which would have to be pro-
duced before common salt could be obtained. Imhauasen felt that solar
evaporation was not reliable, and had doubts about the possibility of sepa-
rating common salt from the evaporite mixture obtained by the BDS process.
DBS were asked to perform laboratory and pilot plant investigations of their
proposals, to complete a more exact survey of the deposits and to check
the brine extraction from boreholes by prolonged pump tests.
Mr. C. Martin and Dr. G. Sali of the Development Division of the
Uganda Development Corporation represented the interests of the Uganda
Government in the details of the project. In co-operation with Mr. K. E.
Okelo of the Government Chemists laboratory and the Chemistry Depart-
ment at Makerere University, laboratory and theoretical studies were per-
formed. The general aim was to assemble a series of stages, each of which
would produce a single substance from the liquor by a method similar to
one already in use on an industrial scale. A five stage sequence was considered
for some time. The results of the survey of the available industrial ideas lead
to a visit to Trona, with results which will be described shortly.
For four months starting in October 1971, Dr. R. Leutz of DBS and
Mr. E. Okwi of UDC supervised the drilling and pumping programme per-
formed by the Mowlem Construction Company at Katwe. Thirteen bore-
holes (146 mm diameter) were drilled from floating pontoons in a pattern
covering all of the lake. It was possible to form an accurate assessment of
the deposits since core recovery all of the lake. It was possible to form an
accurate assessment of the deposits since core recovery was excellent, averag-
ing 90%.37 Upper and lower salt bodies were distinguished, separated
by a 3 to 3.5 m thick layer of fine volcanic ash which starts at a depth of
about 14 m in the middle of the lake.38 The top 6 m is a mixture of various
salts and mud layers, while the remainder of the upper salt body and all
the lower salt body, as far as could be ascertained from one central 35 m
borehole are almost completely darkly coloured masses of trona. Typical
analyses of these solids as reported by Dr. Stoevesand of the German
Geological Mission were those for borehole No. 2 at 12 m (within the upper
salt body) Na+ 31%, K+O.08%, Cl- 0.83%, CO3= 30.1%, HCO3-
22.3%, SO,= 1.7%; and at 19m (within the lower salt body) Na+ 25.4%
K+O.51% Cl- 2.3% CO,= 14.3%, HCO,- 34.7% SO,= 0.97%.39 Lake
Magadi trona is similar in composition and appearance.40 Though the car-
bonate: bicarbonate ratio is rarely the 60;61 value of sodium of ideal
sodium sesquicarbonate the mineral is referred to as trona. Fluctuations of
composition reflect fluctuations in the composition of the crystals, mother
liquors. Searles lake Trona is richer in borax, sulphate, and chloride.15
The trona crystals have noticeable layer structure. Some are up to
10 cm thick, and these consist of bands in which the crystals have their
long axis in a vertical orientation, while others consist of smaller crystals
randomly orientated. At Magadi, layer structure is thought to indicate sea-
sonal growth:41 each layer forms in a dry season between the brine surface
and the top of the previous layer. The crater lake surface has thus been
lower than at present. The intermediate mud layer is probably the material
which descended after the formation of a nearby explosion crater. According
to Arad and Morton, some 2000 tons of salts are now entering the lake
each year in spring water.30 This would about replace the salts removed by
the Salt Trust and is an order of magnitude less than that required to give
a 5 mm layer over the lake area. As Wayland noted,2 the salt body probably
accumulated from the waters of springs which are now extinct. Three phases
can be recognized, the deposition of calcareous material,2 the trona deposi-
tion, and finally the formation of the mixed salts zone.
Dr. Leutz measured the porosity of more than 50 core samples and
obtained an average value of 16%. With this and the analytical results, it
was conservatively estimated that the total reserves of materials are (with
brine reserves in parentheses) NaCI 1,682,000 tons (957,000), KCl 426.000
(305,000).37 The recovery of salt at the rate of 50,000 tons/yr would consume
0.28 million m3 of brine, which would require surface brine to descend at
the rate of 0.7 m per year. As the lake bottom shelves out and depletion
might not be uniformaly spread over all the lake area, this figure might be
doubled for safety. Thus in ten years, unless the boreholes were numerous
and well spaced, all the present interstitial brine would be removed from
some regions of the upper salt body, though dissolution of salts in the down-
ward seeping brine would replace it. Pump tests carried out by Leutz found
no significant change in the brine composition even on pumping from the
upper salt body for 25 days. However it was noticed at a later date that
part of the crust had been dissolved around the pipe protruding from a
borehole.41 Extraction of the brine may prove to be difficult to perform
satisfactorily over a period of many years.
Simultaneously with this almost definitive survey of the lake reserves,
Martin and DBS representatives visited the Kerr McGee Corporation's
Chemical Works at Trona and were shown both the carbonation plant for
the production of soda ash and the potash plant based upon the principle
already described.42 The brine composition is more complex than at Katwe
and from it borax is recoreved in the third stage of the potash process.
Common salt there is a waste product but is obtained in satisfactory
purity for most of the Uganda market (99% NaC1).43 A treatment for Katwe
brine based upon this plant has several advantages over other suggestions.
It is an established process whose engineering requirements are well under-
stood. Only one evaporation stage is used, and in this all the potential
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
contaminants are separated from the salt. Hydrogen sulphide is evolved,
along with carbon dioxide from the bicarbonate. The burkeite phase con-
tains all the precipitated carbonate and sulphate. As cooling the liquor
from the first stage is inevitable in fact the liquor should be used as a
source of heat so a certain amount of potassium chloride can be obtained
for a minimum of further effort.
The solubility relationship given by Teeple together with the mean
brine composition can be used theoretically to find the amounts of crystaline
materials, liquors and gases which would be produced during the plant
treatment of the brine.44 The required capacities of the different stages under
various operating conditions can thus be estimated, if these are modified
in the light of the Trona plant experience. The hydrogen sulphide evolved
in the first stage would be returned to the lake in the alkaline spent liquor
to avoid unpleasantness.
Plant performance with 1000C/50C Operation
mother liquor, stage I,
ton/hr '000 to/yr
7.1 ,511 30 of NaSO,
21 of NaCO,
Plant performance under different conditions
stage I and stage II
% K+ recovered
100/50 110/50 110/35 110/35
59.5 59.1 59.1 64.7
11.9 11.3 11.3 17.3
0.95 1.02 1.36 2.07
6850 7350 9800 14900
39 42 55 100
basis: 300 days of 24 hr. operation per year to produce 50,000 tons of NaCI.
On the same basis an assessment can be made of the plant performance
under different operating conditions. The effect of raising the final temper-
ature of stage I slightly improves the KCI production figure but must be
set against the expected rise in the rate of corrosion within the heat ex-
changers and evaporator vessels. Cooling the liquor below about 50'C would
require flash evaporation forced boiling at a much reduced pressure -
which is a relatively expensive procedure. Its establishment at Katwe would
have to be justified in terms of the marginal increase in potash obtained.
The spent liquors of these treatments is much richer in potash than the
feedstock, so that recycling it through the plant would increase the KCI
yield. However the load" upon the flotation and crystalliser equipment would
also be increased. Following the Trona plant experience a high carbonate
and a low carbonate burkeite will be obtained. These would be stockpiled
to be exploited when the occasion arises.
In recent years the people of Uganda have had three main kinds of
"salt." Katwe salts, the alkaline liquor from vegetable ash which is still
used in some parts,43 and imported salt from places such as Aden, Pakistan,
Germany and Magadi. The grains of these salts are very variable in size.
In order to discover the preferences of Ugandans in this matter students of
the Department of Commerce at Makerere conducted a survey in 1971
under the direction of Professor D. McKeen. They exhibited samples of
fine, medium and coarse grained salt, and asked which the people used.
64% of those questioned kept only one grade of salt, in Acholi, for exam-
ple, the coarse grade and in Buganda generally the fine grade.
If two grades were kept, one was used at the table and the other
in cooking. It emerged that consumer preference was extremely varied.45
Probably the best way to satisfy the people would be to provide a coarse
salt, just as it is obtained from the Trona process, and also to provide a
finer quality by grinding. For agricultural purposes and industrial uses the
coarse material would be satisfactory.
Since both Kenya and Tanzania (with salt works at Magadi and Uvinza
respectively) will be self-sufficient in salt production in the near future, Kat-
we salt would find a market within the East African Community only in
Uoanda. In the past, Zaire. Rwanda. and Bururdi have been supplied with
salt through Uganda, and sales could be re-established to these countries,
together with the southern Sudan, now that the civil war there has ceased.
Uganda's import of salt for human, animal and industrial consumption in
the period 1965 to 1970 averaged 30,000 tons/yr, at a price of 130 shs/ton
at Mombasa.46 Allowing for the natural growth of the market once the
material became plentiful, and export possibilities, a production figure of
50,000 tons/yr would be reasonable.
Katwe has the only known potash deposits in East Africa, in which
the market is about 12,000 tons/yr (1970) and growing quickly (40% per
year). About half the imported potash is in the form of sulphate, which is
more suitable than the chloride for some soils. Abundant world supplies
keep the price down to about 420 shs/ton at Mombasa. Though rail charges
might prevent Katwe potash reaching the Tanzanian market, and parts of
the Kenyan market, the Ugandan market itself has been rapidly growing
(70% per year) and in 1970 was sufficiently large (5500 tons/yr) that most
of any potash produced in Uganda could be sold within Uganda. At some
future date the burkeite might be processed to produce potassium sulphate
from potassium chloride, and also to yield sodium sulphate for the Broder-
ick Falls oaner mill and a possible sisal plant at Tanea, which together might
consume 15,000 tons yr by 1980. Uganda consumPtion of caustic soda and
chlorine together could not justify a plant for their production at Katwe,
particularly since they will be in large scale production at Broderick Falls.
Now that adequate reserves, a suitable method of their extraction, a
KATWE SALT DEPOSITS
workable chemical process and a market for the products of the plant have
been found, economic considerations, especially those concerned with the
effect upon foreign exchange, will determine whether the Government of
Uganda will wish to proceed with the construction of a factory at Katwe.
In the balance will be the saving of foreign exchange from import substitu-
tion and earnings from exports, which are set against the cost of purchasing
the capital equipment and the running costs, chiefly that of importing fuel oil.
1. The UDC files were assembled from various places by Mr. C. Martin when
he became Lake Katwe Project controller.
2. Among many others, E. J. Wayland gives an account: Uganda J., vol. 1, 1934.
3. Katwe Salt Industry, A.E.O. Marzys, Chemical Section Research Memo. No. 3,
UDC, Entebbe, 31.8.53. Much of the earlier historical part of this is based
upon a review by the A.D.C. Tororo, 7.7.1951.
4. Letter from the D.C. Tororo to UDC.
5. Saben's Commercial Directory of Uganda for 1947/8.
6. Survey of Uganda Salt Lakes and Salt Winning Methods, Dr. T. A. Koenig,
E.A. Industrial Research Board, 16.3.1945.
7. Note on Lake Katwe, J.A. Stevens, 27.4.1948.
8. This map is reproduced by Wayland in (2) loc. cit. p. 99.
9. If the area of the lake had been properly known to be 2.7 x 108 square yards
the deposits might have been thought less worthy of attention.
10. The Cold Process on the Laboratory Scale, J.A. Stevens, 2.6.1950.
11. Report on Katwe Lake Salt Production, P.F. Shilton, Mineral Resources
Division, UDC. Entebbe.
12. Notes on Katwe Salt Lake, P.F. Shilton; Kilembe and the local cotton crop
were providing alternative sources of employment.
13. Summary of Progress of Geological Survey of Uganda for 1929-49.
14. A Quantitative Inorganic Analysis, A.I. Vogel, ELBS & Longmans, 3rd Edn.,
15. The Industrial Development of Searles Lake Brine, J.E. Teeple, Chemical
Catalog Company, New York, 1929.
16. Lake Katwe; letter to Dr. H.H. Story of E.A. Industrial Research Board from
Dr. A.J.V. Underwood, 1.6.1946.
17. Appendix B of (16) loc. cit., A.J. Pelling, 18.1.46.
18. Visit to Magadi Soda Co. Ltd. on 15.6.1954, A.E.O. Marzys, UDC, 3.7.1954.
19. Appendix A of (16) loc. cit., A.J. Pelling, 20.3.1946.
20. Industrial Exploitation of Toto Lake Brines, parts I & II, A.E.O. Marzys,
UDC Technical Development Division, 20.4.1954.
21. After filtration, these aze heated to produce soda ash (Na2 COS)
22. Advanced Course: The American Potash and Trona Corporation Research and
Development Department, Trona; received by UDC in 1972.
23. Part IV of (20); A.E.O. Marzys, 15.2.1955.
24. The Kinetics of Crystal Growth, G.H. Nancolas and N. Purdie, Quarterly
Reviews, The Chemical Society London, vol. 18, p. 1, 1964.
25. Mr. D. Eliot, Survey, Land and Mines Department, Entebbe, produced the map.
26. The Exploitation of Lake Katwe Brine, B.H. Dembo, UDC Technical Develop-
ment Division, 31.5.1955.
27. Drilling in Katwe Salt Lake, 15.6.1955; Katwe Salt Lake, 25.7.1955; Katwe
Salt Lake, 4.8.1955; A. Hajek, UDC Technical Development Division.
28. Comprehensive Report on Pilot Plant Work Carried out on the Extraction of
Pure Salts from Lake Katwe, J. McGarry, Technical note No. 1.59, UDC
Technical Development Division, 11.1.1959.
80 UGANDA JOURNAL
29. A Composition and Tonnage Survey of the Salt Reserves of Lake Katwe,
W.H. Morton and R.A. Old, Uganda Geological Survey Report No. WHM/6,
RAO/7, March, 1968.
30. Mineral Springs and Saline Lakes of the Western Rift Valley, Uganda; A. Arad
and W.H. Morton, Geochimica et Cosmochemica Acta, vol. 33, p. 1169, 1969.
31. Recommendations for Further Sampling at Lake Katwe; W.H. Morton, Uganda
Geological Survey Report No. WHM/7, March, 1968.
32. The success of the pump tests owed much to the advice of a United Nations
expert on Hydrology; personal communication, H.G. Plummer, Ag. Commissioner,
Geological Survey of Uganda.
33. Uganda Atlas; 2nd Edn., Department of Lands and Surveys, Uganda, 1967.
34. Further Notes on Lake Katwe, W.H. Morton, Uganda Geological Survey
Report No. WHM/9, March, 1968.
35. Feasibility Study, Imhausen International Company, November, 1969.
36. Study for the Main Investigation of the Lake Katwe Salt Project, Deutsche
Beratungsgsellschaft, ffir Salinentechnik, 18.11.1970.
37. Lake Katwe Salt Reserves Investigation; C. Martin, UDC, 20.3.1972.
38. Borehole Logs, R. Leutz, DBS, October-November, 1971.
39. Chemical Analyses; Dr. Stoevesand, German Geological Mission, January-
40. Geology of the Magadi Area; B.H. Baker, Report No. 42, Geological Survey
of Kenya, 1958.
41. C. Martin and A.H. Fawcett, while attempting to sample brine from the pipe
in borehole no. 1 from which brine had been pumped for 17 days. April, 1972.
42. Report on the Visit to Kerr McGee Corporations Chemical Plant at Trona
from 30th Oct. to 6th Nov., 1971, C. Martin, UDC.
43. Mr. Paulo Odwong of Patico prepared a sample of cooking liquid from the
ashes of the plant "mwodo". The solids obtained by evaporation of this liquid
were analysed by E. Okwi as (in weight %) Na+ 0.3, K + 46, CI-3, C03=23,
A small amount of carbonate in Katwe salt would therefore give it an alkaline
reaction similar to traditional cooking liquid, though of much less magnitude.
44. The Application of Phase Diagrams to various process Conditions and the
Potential Effect on Process Design; A.H. Fawcett, April, 1972.
45. Lake Katwe Salt Project; A Market Survey; D. Nasser, Department of
Commerce, Makerere University, November, 1971.
46. East African Customs and Excise Annual Trade Reports.
Uganda Journal, 37 (1973) pp.81-93.
CHECK-LIST OF THE ARTIFACTS AND DOMESTIC WORKS
OF THE KARIMOJONG
By J. G. WILsoN.
In April 1971 the Government of the Second Republic of Uganda decreed
that the populace of Karamoja should cease wearing skin clothing, head-
dresses, bangles and other traditional attire and replace these with clotmng
of manufactured cloth and adopt unelaborated hair styles. The male populace
were also constrained from perambulating in a naked state. The Government
understandably felt that Karamoja district should cease being a museum of
the past and come into the twentieth century like the rest of the country.
The decree was quickly effected and the appearance of the Karimojong soon
became much the same as that of their neighbours in adjoining districts. Up
to the time the decree was effected the Karimojong had shown few signs of
change in their appearance, at least to the casual observer, and the district
could in many ways be construed as a living museum resembling Africa of
the past than Africa of the twentieth century. Both men and women often
sported much ornamentation and distinctive coiffures, while men had a casual
attitude towards wearing clothes and not infrequently were seen naked or
wearing only a loincloth, and in their own locale almost invariably carried
spears. Women and girls invariably wore pleated skirts of dressed goatskin
and a bead-decorated apron which varied little in design from Dodoth county
in the north to Pian county in the south. Patently this mode of dress and
distinctive ornamentation related to the past, and its eclipse is a cogent
reason to record something of the cultural changes that have taken place in
the last twentyfive years; and to record as far as possible the range of arti-
facts and domestic works before discontinued usage erases both physical
trace and memory of this sulture.
It is wrong to suppose that the Karimojong up to the time of the 1971
decree were a stubborn people who resisted all change. Considerable changes
had already taken place and more changes would have taken place, albeit
gradually, as the economy of the district changed. The Karimojong tradition
is predominantly a pastoral one in which cattle are the focal point of exist-
ence or the core around which tribal custom and organisation revolves.'
Cattle and other livestock were by 1971 not the sole economic mainstay of
the Karimojong, two events had occurred which have altered this. These, in
reverse order, were predatory raids by the Turkana and secondly the wide-
spread adoption of the ox-plough. About 1959 the Turkana annihilated three
villages some 10 miles east of Loyoro in Dodoth county, the inhabitants were
all dead. Further raids followed this in which the Karimojong could offer
no effective resistance as they had only spears to defend themselves. Within
two years the Dodoth had been forced to re-settle in areas well west of their
former settlements. In the next decade the Turkana expanded their area of
depredation to include all of Karamoja and accordingly the eastern settle-
ments, as in Dodoth county have had to be relocated from eastern parts to
more centrally situated areas. The losses of livestock, apart from human life
have been enormous and many families have been reduced to possessing a
few sheep and goats. This factor, which still operates, has accordingly brought
about drastic change in the economy, forcing those dispossessed of livestock
to depend muchmore on the cultivation of cereals for survival
The second factor which has brought a great deal of change in the
economy of Karamoja is the widespread adoption of the ox-plough, which
was introduced by Mr. J. M. Watson, the first Agricultural Officer in Kara-
moja, in 1947. The use and spread of the plough has enabled the Karimojong
not only to cultivate much larger areas than formerly but has enabled them
to cultivate the heavy black clay soils. This has led to enormous increases
in yields as the black clays are much more fertile than the lighter clay loams.2
This in turn has led to a lessened dependence on livestock as a source of
milk and blood as the mainstay of their diet but also as the area of land
cultivated per family unit has expanded, male members of the tribe have
increasingly been involved in cultivation. This in turn has to some extent
re-orientated focus from cattle only, to a broader and more outward looking
attitude, in which further changes in patterns of life are possible. Though the
rate of change is naturally slow, due to the rigid customs which revolve
around cattle, possibly abstractedly, in the form of the asapan initiation3
and age-set4 organisation, which maintains not only the traditional tribal
organisation of hierarchy, but also the focus on cattle-possession as the ulti-
While visible change in the appearance of Karimojong women and girls
was at the time of the decree negligible, the appearance of male members of
the tribe changed considerably in the last twenty years. Modern develop-
ment in Karamoja did not get under way until the creation of the Karamoja
Rehabilitation Scheme in 1955. Up to this time there had been little develop-
ment and accordingly little influence of change, such as opportunities of
paid employment. The needs of the Karimojong were few and they disdained
any physical work, in fact government work-forces were largely made up
from immigrant Turkana. From 1955 to 1960, however, Government depart-
ments and their activities were enormously expanded and in the time Kari-
mojong males were increasingly employed as porters and drivers and so forth
and a great increase in the circulation of money took place. This would
appear to have marked the turning point in the male attitude of strict ad-
herence to rigid custom, a few individuals started appearing in cotton shorts,
a phenomenon that was unknown formerly beyond chiefs and clerical grades.
By 1960 the wearing of lip plugs had gone oat of fashion except among the
middle-aged and older men and by 1970 very few young men wore head-
dresses. Change in the structure of the homesteads was becoming more
apparent. The increased circulation of money from 1955 gave a boost to the
purchase of ploughs and their usage rapidly spread throughout the counties
of Bokora, Matheniko and Pian. This in turn led to the greater involvement
of men in agricultural activities and the expansion of grain storage facilities
and attendant artifacts. The quality of life improved, there was surplus grain
in good years and a specialised pot for beer drinking which had only been
seen previously in the homesteads of rich people became commonplace in
all but the poorer homes. Similarly an expansion of Asian shops in all county
centres was apparent by the end of the 1950's, and while the Asian trader
used to chant that 'there's no business in Karamoja, we can only sell beads,
bangles, posho and shukas' (cheap cotton sheets), his shop had a greatly
expanded range of materials by 1970; and was selling items such as tea, sugar
and soap and a host of other goods to the average Karimojong.
So by 1971 changes had taken place; though to the casual observer
Karamoja was the same as it always was, women and girls still plaited and
applied oil to their hair and wore a profusion of metal loops or beads, de-
pending on their married or unmarried status. This though was really more
a reflection of the female economy. Money through employment was not
available to women and therefore they had no alternative but to attire them-
selves in goatskin clothing as had their forebears. In small ways though, the
home economy was changing; enamel bowls and cups were appearing and
kerosene tins were replacing clay water jars. Girls of marriageable age were
frequently to be seen wearing vests and sometimes wore a cotton cloth in
place of the leather apron and skirt. This probably resulted from missionary
influence. The 1971 decree therefore did not institute a new way of life, it
only telescoped a change that had already begun.
In appreciating the Karamoja culture in its spectrum of artifacts and
domestic works one must see the people in relation to their environment.
Much of the district has a semi-arid climate and this is reflected in the vegeta-
tion types which range from savana in the western parts of the district to
bushland and thicket in the east and centre.5 Effective rainfall may be ex-
pected for only four to five months of the year, with the remaining months
being noted for their aridity. This leads to an annual shortage of grazing
particularly around the permanent settlements which are situated in the drier
vegetation zones. This in turn leads to a transhumance of part of the popula-
tion and the bulk of the livestock to the western unsettled areas every year.
This has led to the construction of temporary dry season camps, known as
ngauwoyi and the use of donkeys (equipped with a special pannier) as pack
animals. While the shortage of water has given rise to the digging of wells
and even the construction of small dams, besides the carving of wooden
troughs and bowls.
In common with some other African pastoral tribes, possession of cattle
involves repelling acquisitive forays from one's enemies and in turn the re-
acquisition of cattle in the maintenance of a status quo. The Karimojong
still are a warlike people and killing of an enemy or enemies is considered
not only honourable, but desirable, if one has aspirations to raise one's
status in the community. On killing an enemy a man will notch the ears of his
totem-ox and add a pattern of raised scars on his own body that denotes his
bravery. He may also wear an armlet or necklace of white beads which in
modern times are not so conspicuous to the authorities as raised scars. In
combat he formerly used only spears, carrying for the purpose a perfectly
matched pair and protecting himself with a leather shield made from giraffe,
elephant or buffalo hide, but since 1955, he has favoured a shield cut in the
former pattern, from stolen 44 gallon oil drums. Bows and arrows are not
traditional weapons of the Karimojong but have made their appearance
since 1960, possibly as a defensive measure against the Turkana. The Pokot
(Suk) however, have traditionally used bows and arrows. All the personal
artifacts of the Karimojong are highly stylised and are obviously pattern.
that have changed little over a long period. This is borne out again in the
range of styles of a particular artifact, each style bears its own distinctive
name, some having a distinct use and others may be associated with an
individual's status. Thus an adolescent male into early manhood would wear
a conical type of head-dress as a mark of his age-set and carry a U-shaped
stool. On passing through the asapan initiation into the succeeding age-set he
would take off his conical head-dress and commence the wearing of another
type, known as an etmat in accordance with higher status, similarly he would
discontinue carrying his amakuk (U-shaped stool) and make himself another
different outline, possibly one known as lokasepanak. In former times there
were even artifacts of particular outline connecting eldership, these included
a head-dress known as pelekwa or sometimes eyoliputh and a stool known
as lokaisekoo, the latter may still be in evidence.
The development of highly stylised patterns is often suggestive of a
longstanding culture and many of the Karamojan artifacts bear a highly
stylised and disciplined pattern. Notable among these are head-dresses and
the stool/headrests which bear an uncanny resemblance to some of the
head-dresses and the headrests of ancient Egypt. In a previous paper the
writer mentioned horn hammers6 as being Egyptian in origin which lends
support to the probability that other patterns of Karamojan artifacts may
also reflect archetypal Egyptian forms. This would indeed appear to be the
case when one finds the skins employed in covering the breasts of lactating
mothers and the skins employed in carrying the child on the mother's back.
bearing then names of arapet and anapet respectively, as these may be
presumed to connect with Apet, the Egyptian goddess of childbirth and
motherhood. Another apparent connection with an Egyptian deity, that of
Khepera, god of rebirth and renewal may be seen in the name given to an
area fenced off and rested until grass has regenerated, which is known as an
apero. Another artifact whose outline is suggestive of an Egyptian origin is
the handled waterjar of the Karimojong. This bears a strong resemblance in
the conical outline, handles and constricted neck with the Egyptian, handled
and conical-based wine-jars, the Karamojan jar anyway doubling as use for
a beer container. Such linkages must make the Karamojan culture among
the most distinctive in Africa.
The range of Karamojan artifacts and domestic works has been enriched
by the use of a wide range of natural mineral substances. In fact such usage
may be unique in Africa of the period after the midtwentieth century. Until
enactment of the 1971 decree, Karimojong women and girls habitually applied
a mixture of ground ilmenite and oil to their hair to increase its lustre.7
Ochre and kaolinised rock were on occasion applied to the body by men.
Then the custom of mixing powdered asbestos or powdered talc with pot
clay to enhance the strength of the finished article,8 is still extant. While
horn hammers and grindstones are still fashioned from gneiss and other
minerals and until recent times lip plugs were formed from quartz or
quartzite. Intriguing connections with the Stone Age would also appear to
exist in the recent finding of Karamojan usage of dimpled hammer stones
being still employed in beating metal objects or for grinding. A further
recent finding is that the Karimojong until very recently employed sharp stone
blades for shaving, these were struck off a parent piece of minerals such as
chert, felspar or quartz. Such usage of minerals further distinguishes their
Vegetational resources too, are still widely exploited in the manufacture
of different artifacts. The tree Sclerocarya birrea for example is the most
widely exploited in the making of stools, while Albizia anthelnintica and
A. amara are also widely favoured. In bringing wooden objects to a smooth
finish the sandpaper-like leaves of Cordia gharaf and C. ovalis are employed
as abrasives. Spear shafts and sticks are invariably cut from stems of various
members of the genus Grewia. Bowls and troughs are frequently hollowed
out of wood obtained from a species of fig. In the past and to a limited
extent up to the present day, the seeds of certain trees and shrubs were used
as beads for necklaces and for attachment to skin clothing. These include
seeds of the wild banana (Musa nsete), the tamarind tree and many others.
Fibre from the wild agave (Sansevieria ehrenbergii) is widely utilised for
making string and rope, while roofing poles are often obtained from the tree
Terminalia brownii. As with minerals therefore, the Karamojan exploitation
of vegetational resources is wide ranging.
While patterns of artifacts have probably changed little since 1930 when
the first Patels opened their corrugated iron shacks in Moroto, the arrival
of the Asian trader and the expansion of the duka to remote areas, brought
into the orbit of the Karimojong cheap coloured beads and a variety of metal
wires. Before this the supply of coloured beads was limited and available
mainly through barter of livestock or ivory, and metal bangles and beads
were available in a limited range from ironsmiths. The appearance of cheap
coloured beads brought about the creation of bright new colour patterns,
particularly evident on the aprons of unmarried girls and on the superbly
decorated raiding belts of warriors, known commonly as areth (in the
singular). The availability of brass, copper and iron wire of about 3mm thick,
which was sold in lengths of a meter or more, led in turn to the replacement
of the duller, locally produced iron bangles, and this in turn to the heightened
embellishment of the individual.
Surprisingly though, the metal that brought about the greatest replace-
ment of traditional materials in the fashioning of ornamental artifacts,
particularly those of men, was aluminium. This came as the 'sufuria', the
ubiquitous cooking-pot, which Karimojong very quickly came to realise,
had a low melting point and was readily malleable. Its arrival cannot be
definitely pinpointed to a specific year, but it is likely that it became widely
available after 1946, and by 1952, it had proliferated into many ornaments
such as lip plugs, largely replacing those made from ivory and quartz. It was
also fashioned into heavy bracelets worn by men and known as amulanyang
(singular) and possibly achieved its penultimate beauty of form in globular
snuff flasks. It is still fashioned into a limited number of articles such as
bracelets and occasionally one may come across necklaces of aluminium
beads which further exemplify the range of forms in which it was moulded.
In concluding these notes, mention must be made of the Karamojan skill
and artistry. While to-day the individual Karamojong has ceased wearing
many ornamental artifacts such as head-dresses and lip plugs, he still carries
artifacts such as snuff flasks and stool/headrests. These artifacts he makes
himself, he does not go to a smith or other specialist and pay for the making
of a specific article other than his spears, which are as yet a specialisation
of ironsmiths, particularly among the Tobur tribe. In making them he takes
great deal of care and time and brings them to a consummate state of finish
86 UGANDA JOURNAL
with the aid of only primitive tools, such as a spear blade, a knife and an
adze and possibly a hammer stone, depending on the article he is making.
The extraordinary thing is that he can set about with complete confidence
in his ability to produce a serviceable and beautiful finished product, whether
it be a pair of hide sandals or a complex head-dress. Some of these artifacts
take make hours and even days of patient work to achieve the completion of
what is often a work of art, as seen by the eyes of outsiders. One has cause
for astonishment when one realises that the same individual, through his own
sapience knows how to melt and mould aluminium into a range of beautiful
shapes, without the aid of c1 acibles, furnaces and all the paraphernalia needed
in modern technology. The same inherent artistic and sculptural ability
appears in the range and consummate finish of the soapstone sculpture they
now produce for sale to tourists.
It should be recorded that the foregoing preface and following list of
artifacts is an account of the physical culture of the Karimojong people only,
who are made up of the Dodoth, Jie, Bokora, Matheniko and Pian tribes. The
paper does not list those of the Pokot or minor tribes such as the Tepes or
Tobur unless specific borrowing has occurred; with the Tepes, much borrow-
ing of the Karamojan culture is evident.
Acknowledgements: The compilation of the list of artifacts with their
vernacular names in this paper would have been impossible without the
generous co-operation of many Karimojong. Among those who must be
mentioned are: Peter Teko, James Luhukol and Peter Korobe, all of South
Karamoja District Administration; and John Odong of the Uganda Com-
mercial Bank, Moroto.
1. Dyson-Hudson, N. Karimojong politics, London, Oxford University Press, 1966.
2. Wilson, J. G. The soils of Karamoja District, Agricultural Department Research
Memoir, Series 1, No. 5, 1959.
3. Wilson J. G. The use of stone hammers in the alteration of horn profiles (Uganda
Journal; 36, 1972, p. 60).
4. Ibid p. 60.
5. Wilson, J. G. The vegetation of Karamoja District, Agricultural Department Re-
search Memoirs, Series II, No. 5, 1961.
6. op. cit (Uganda Journal) pp. 61-2.
7. Wilson, J. G. The use of naturally occurring minerals in Karamoja (Uganda J.
34, 1970, p. 81).
KARAMOJONG ARTIFACTS AND DOMESTIC WORKS:
Flat. tongue-like head-dress of old men worn on the back
of the head and extending down the back for as much as
four feet ...................................................... .......... :Pelekwa or occasionally
Head-dress of asapan-initiated men .................. ....... :Etimat: Ngitimae.
Removable type of Etimat ...................................... :Epukot: Ngipukon.
Forepart of Etimat ................ ............. ........ ......... :Etoro: Ngitoroi.
Wider type of forepart as seen among the Jie and Bokora
tribes ....................................................... ......... :Amelai: Ngamela.
Curved, rod-like appendage attached to the back of the
Etimat type forming an arc over the head-dress......... :Aloket: Ngaloketa.
Terminal, round bob on Aloket ............................... :Etuleru: Ngituleru.
Depressed sockets for holding feathers in Etimat type......:Ecobe: Ngicobei.
Projecting crest of sockets on Etimat type.......................:Etorogogo: Ngitorogoi.
Diamond-shaped mark at rear of head-dress of Etimat type: tkiwalet: Ngikiwaleta.
Parallel striations drawn in clay of Etimat.................... :Aciat: Ngacian.
Spatula-lie wooden instrument, toothed like a comb at one
end for applying clay and making striations ............ :Agwaret (sing).
Special clay applied as a paste to Etimat and Apukot type:Emunyen: Ngimunyenia.
Young men's pre-initiation type of head-dress worn on the
back of the head as an elongated cone and bound with
closely coiled string ............................................... : Atokot: Ngatokon.
Powdered, red ochre applied to Atokot ....................... :Aporeit: Ngaporei.
Saucer-shaped bob of squirrel's tail attached to both Etimat
and Atokot types as a pendant .................................:Achodai: Ngacoda.
Wire flea-scratcher carried in head-dresses .................... :Akoyet: Ngakoyeta.
Detachable, multi-socket cap constructed from woven cord
for holding ostrich feathers and used on festive occasions:Edukiduk: Ngidukidikio.
Arc-shaped, hide feather holder worn across the head......:Agyaat: Ngagyae.
Bunches of ostrich feather worn in sockets .................. :Ekiwalet: Ngikiwaleta.
Gourd-end appendage worn by boys as a mock head-dress... :Abole: Ngabolei.
Metal comb ........................... ....................... :Akicanuo: Ngakicanuoi.
Heart-shaped, aluminium plate worn as a nose pendant by
old men .................................................................. :Akaparaparat (sing).
Stone lip plug worn by old men ................................ :Akaliliit: Ngakalilii.
Aluminium ear studs ..............................................E.:dongit: Ngikadongidong.
Lyre-shaped, copper ear pendants ..................... ....... :Atelot: Ngateloi.
Iron neck loops occasionally worn by old men .......... :Ngagoromo: Agormoit.
Necklace of small coloured beads favoured by young men... :Ecereked: Ngicerekedei.
Necklace of white beads worn after killing an enemy......:Ngalokan (sing).
Necklace made from hair of giraffe's tail with specialised
knots and spaced beads ..........................................:Esilot: Ngisill.
Baboon skin cape worn by old men ...................... :Ecom: Ngicomin.
Leopard skin cape worn at dances etc. .....................:Erith: Ngirisae.
Wedge-shaped cape, usually of calfskin worn by young men: Akaluwat or Akapuka.
Pattern of raised cicatrices worn on shoulder and chest on I&s,'S.. ..
left or right side denoting the killing of a female or male
of the enemy tribe .................................................. Ngaloka (singe
Loop of whiteskin with tails worn on upper arm denoting
the killing of an enemy ............... .....................:Aruka: Ngarukaneth.
Braided leather armlet worn on uppe ,rm.....................:Ngakicina (sing).
Giraffe's tail whisk worn at dances on am ..................... :Elado: Ngiladoi
88 UGANDA JOURNAL
Coiled metal wire armlets of copper, brass, aluminium
or iron .................................................. ....... :Aburr: Ngaburrin.
Ditto worn above the wrist........................................Akekesait: Ngaakesa
Slender metal bracelet ............................................. :Asuwat: Ngasuwa.
W rist knife .................................................. .............. :Jie, Abuli: Ngabulin.
Thick bracelet of metal, wood or ivory.......................:Apokot: Ngapokoi.
Aluminium badge ..........................................................: Amulanyang:
Metal or bone ring ............................................... :Ekaboboot:
Wedge-shaped ivory ring ... .................................. :Ekelai: Ngikial.
Flat, rounded finger-knife worn by eleders .................: Egolu: Ngigolui.
Talon-shaped fingers hook worn by elders and occasionally
used for extracting the lower incisors of youths......... :Ekurupeta:
Flexible metal belt of box-like construction usually worn
as four strands by mature men or elders....................:Erikot: Ngiriko.
Broad, arc shaped leather belt with fluted aluminium edging
originally-worn by cattle raiders to constrict the stomach
and allay hunger........................................ .........: Areth: Ngarethia:
Cowrie-shell appearing iron dancing bells attached to a
leather strap and worn below the knee....................... :Etworot: Ngitworoi.
Metal ball of above................................................:Ekalereke: Ngikalereke.
Braided leather thongs worn on ankles by young men,
particularly of Bokora tribe....................................... Asayat: Ngasayae.
Stylised pattern of wavy lines applied to the legs of
usually young men on special occasions, of paste from
kaolinised rock.......................................................:Lodwee (sing).
Sandals......................... ........................................ : Am ukat: N gam uk.
Front lace of sandal .................................................... :Ekipin: Ngikipian.
Side supports............................................................ :Emathanit: Ngimathan.
Rear securing lace........................................................Erukan (sing).
Rear securing lace...................................................:Atotinyo: Ngatotiny
Coiled spare lace.................................... ......... Loikitaa (sing).
Special dancing sandals of elephant or other thick hide
used by Jie tribe (also for divination).........................: Akolor: Ngakoloro.
Ceremonial spear with long blade.............................:Atum: Ngatumion.
Fighting spear (usually in matched pairs).......................:Akwara: Ngakwaras.
Small-headed spear................................ ............. Ibiti: Ngibiteyek.
Broad-bladed spear......................................................: Aliru: Ngalirwa.
Spear point.... ..................................... .............: Angajep. (sing).
Dividing ridge on spear blade................................ Egurr. (sing).
Spear blade.........................................................: Neni-akwanan. (sing).
Spear sheath............................... .................: Akuraro: Ngakuraros.
Sleeve-like appendage at top end of sheath.....................:Ereret: Ngirerei.
Securing laces at bottom of sheath................................ :Arukan: Ngarukaneth
Arm of spear.................................................:Itwal or Isipiet (sing).
Socket at end of arm..........................................: Eporoto: Ngiporotoi.
Wooden shaft between fore and distal ends....................:Amorok: Ngamorokin.
Distal arm of spear...............................................Isipiet: Ngisipieta.
Plaited cane wheel thrown for spear practice...............: Ekorobe: Ngikorobein.
Shield formerly of giraffe or elephant hide, now usually
made from oil drums...........................................:Au-upal: Ngaupala.
Handle of shield.........................................................Akodet. (sing).
Spine of shield........................................................... Egurr: N gigurrai.
Leather brace behind handle........................................ Ababai: Ngababa.
Carrying thong............................................................ :Akodet. (sing).
Projecting end of spine............................................... Anyet: Ngwoyeta.
Ostrich feather bob attached to anyet......................... :Ekithuri: Ngikithurio.
Bow, this weapon is an innovation among the Karimojong,
only coming into use within the last decade, it is patterned
on that of the Pokot............... ................. Akau: Ngakawaa.
Bowstring ................. ............................. ..... .....: Auno: N gaunoi.
Arrow (complete)........... ........................................... : Icipet: Ngicipeta.
Arrow head......................... .. ........... ................. .. :Ekalenget:
Point of arrow.......................... ..........................A.... ngajep. (sing).
Blade of arrow........................................... ....... Akituk kori
Ridge on arrow head.................. ..................... Egurr. (sing).
M etal arm .............................................. ......... ......... :Eporoto: N giporotoi.
W ooden shaft......................................... .....: Asinin. (sing).
Feather vanes (three in number)................ .............. :Akopir: Ngakopir.
Grip-stud at the end of the shaft.............. ........ :Eseket: Ngikisiketa.
Socket for fixing bowstring to arrow..........................Akicare. (sing).
Special arrow for withdrawing blood from the neck of cattle: Emal: Ngimalia.
Quiver for arrows, of two types, one a wooden cylinder is
probably pokot in origin, the other a sleeve-like skin
container is probably Sudanese in origin, they are known
as.............................. ............ ......... ... ....-..... Ato: Atoroth. (sing).
W hip.................. ........... ......................... ............ : Adaset: N eadase.
Sticks in general............... ............................ ...Ebela: Ngibelae.
Stick with curved, talon-like handle.............................. :Ekiudet. (sing).
Stick with handle at an acute angle to the shaft......... :Losokod or Ekodos.
Stick with narrow, hatchet-like handle used for fighting...: Epelu. (sing).
Stick with elongated, blade-like handle (probably Turkana
(origin).............................................. .. ........... ... .....: Fkocol: N ikocolo.
Stick with scythe like outline (Employed in hunting dikdik):Esebo: Ngiseboe.
Baton-like stick..........................................................: Aruket or Akuiuk. (sing).
Spherical-headed stick......................... ............... ...... :Ekalerekit. (sing).
Cone-headed stick (probably of recent invention)........... :Lopeded. (sing).
Two-pronged stick used in gathering thorny branches...... Frogeth. (sing).
Stool/headrests in general........................................ kicolong: Ngikicolongo
Three-legged, round topped type, popular with Pian tribe:Emesa: Ngimesae.
Sinple stem, round-footed with an oval or roundtop......... :Lopeikeiu. (sing).
Divided stem, two-footed with cylindrical top.................:Lokaiseku. (sing).
Variable outlined top with eccentrically placed legs.........: Acaradu. (sing.)
Round, oval or rectangular topped with arched legs......: Lopetet. (sing).
Single stem stool with double wing-like top (Turkana in
origin).................................................. ............... Eturkana. (sing).
Traditional, pre-asapan initiate's stool of inverted U shane:Amakuk: Ngamakuko.
Snuff flasks, usually made from goat's horn with a hide
sleeve, sometimes made from elephant or warthong tusks: Abui-suat. (sing).
Horn usually of Oryx with cow's tail at distal end, token
of marriage............................................................: Adir. (sine).
Fly whisk of cow's tail attached to a handle.................:Ekosim: Ngikosimae.
Braided leather collar worn by owner's favourite ox.........: Aroba: Nearobae.
M etal bell attached to same......................................... :Akuma: Nalkumae.
Smill bell of goats ................................................. :Ekadilit: Ngikadilli.
Tortoise-Carapace bell.................................................: Akuma: Ngakumae.
Knocker of bells................................... ................ A eget: Neagege.
Securing thong between bell and collar..........................:Akodet: Nsakodeta.
Sing'e-orificed flute, made from animal horn................ :Alut: Ngaluto.
Three or four-holed flute carved from a cvlindricalpiece '
of wood. mainly to be found among Dodoth.............. Alelero: Ngaleleros.
Ceremonial trumpet blown on special occasions...............:Arupepe: Ngarunepe.
Stone Hammer for altering horn profile.......................: Aramet: Nearameta.
Truss for securing altered horn profile.......................:Atuko: Ngatukoi.
Wooden Castration hammer..................................... :Ekidonget or Fkikor
Horn Container for keeping ostrich featners..................:Ateroth. (sing).
Stone Blade for shaving (see text)...........................:Akatunetunet. (sing).
90 UGANDA JOURNAL
Braided hair style of women and girls..........................:Aoyot: Ngaoyon.
Braided string fringe worn on forehead mainly among
Bokora girls...................... .................................. :Ejulu. (sing).
Pendants hung from a short chain, often aluminium.........: Apadit: Ngapadae.
Headband of cowrie shells favoured by female withdoctors: Ngisigira (pl.).
Large, circular metal ear-rings of married women...........: Amaratoit: Ngamaratoi.
Small metal ear-rings of married women........................: Akasiyelet: Ngakasiyelei.
Circular metal loops worn on neck of married women...... :Alagat: Ngalaga.
Necklace of aluminium beads (of local manufacture)......:Ngikwangai (pl.).
Necklace of cylindrical iron beads (occasionally copper)...:Edanyit: Ngidany
Necklace of finely coiled wire and space beads...............:Awayai. (sing).
Necklace of seeds of Musa nsete.............................. Etesuro: Ngitesuroi.
Necklace of Euclea latidens seeds...............................:Emus: Ngimusion.
Necklace of seeds of Abrus sp. ................ .................:Esidongoror:
'^,w ? Ngisidongororwa
Necklace of Balanites aegyptiaca seeds...........................: Emongot: Ngimongo.
Necklace of Tamarindus indica seeds.............................. Ekamanit: Ngikaman.
Necklace of coloured trade beads.................. ..............: Acilot: Ngacilo.
Necklace of seeds of Musa nsete with twin leather thongs
suspended from the back bearing tortoise-shell hangers... :Egeget: Ngigege.
Metal loop with bead-decorated leather tab and suspended
fringe of short chains signifying engagement of girl......:Eboli: Ngiboli.
Coiled metal bangles (brass, aluminium or copper wire) ''"
worn above elbow.............................. ........... Aburr: Ngaburrin.
Leather band with four or five hangers on which may be
suspended hooves of small goats, dikdik or other
m am m als ................................................................ : Assayat. (sing).
Metal bangles on wrist.............................................. Asuwat: Ngasuwa.
Ring worn on finger.................................................. :kabobot: Ngikaboboi.
Ankle bangles usually of iron worn by married women...:Atijaa: Ngatijaa
Skin cover worn over breast of lactating mothers............:Arapet: Ngarapeta.
Skin sling for supporting child on mother's back............ Anapata: Nganapeta.
Beaded belt occasionally seen on young girls.................:Akorobo: Ngakorobai.
Uncommon apron (Dodoth type).............. ...................:Emewot: Ngimee.
Married women's apron..............................................: Adwal: Neawalin.
Flanges at the bottom of apron................................. :Acileta: Ngiceleta.
Vertical pattern on apron..........................................:Aciloit: Ngacillo.
Securing thongs..........................................................: Arukan: Ngarukaneth.
Wedge-shaped flanges at the end of thongs.................... :Arita: NTaritae.
Married women's and unmarried girls skirt.................:Abwo: Ngagweth.
Pleats in skirt ........................................ :Arac: Ngarcio.
Unmarried girl's apron.............................................. :Atele: Ngatelei.
Ditto of chain links found among Jie and Dodoth girls...:Ethivaa: Neithiyae.
Ditto of wooden pegs (Jie)................................. :Fkalugur: Ngikaluguro.
Unmarried girls' skirt.................. .. .................... : lou: Ngilowi.
Infant girl's apron of four sticks and terminal beads......:Eriecet: Ngiriece.
Armlet and sometimes attached to leg of small leather
loop with four or more goat hoof rattles..................... :Fgeget: Ngigege.
Metal bangles worn on ankles............................... Ngasuwa (Dl.).
Sandals........................ ........ ............. ................. : Am likat: NPamuk.
Snuff container.............................................................: Abui: Ngabuvon.
Bundle of sticks carried by married women when on journey: Fkvaat: Neikvee.
Tobacco pipe smoked by Dodoth women................. :Apii: Ngapii.
Domestic Artifacts and Works:
Homestead .......... .......................... .... ...... ......Ere : Ngererwa.
Fence of vertical sticks and logs................. ......Alar: Ngalarin.
Fence of thorn branches... ............................ :Aweth: Ngawathin.
Entrance for people.................................. ......... Epiding: Ngipidingia.
Entrance for cattle........ ........................ ................ :Ekidor: N gidorin.
Entrance for sheep and goats.......... ........ ............ :Epuke: Ngipukei.
Thorn branch pulled into entrances at night.................: Egolit: Ngigolito.
Place where men gather outside the homestead..............: Ekitoe or Ekokwa (sing).
Open place within the homestead where men gather......: Aparit. (sing).
Womens enclosure or temporary house where beer is drunk: Etem: Ngitemwan.
Roof of Etem ........... ........................................... Eripipi: N giripi.
Enclosure round house with homestead..........................: Eaal: Ngikalia.
Sitting place with grass fence.................................... Esakaite. (sing).
Enclosure for calves.................................................: Anok: Nganokin.
Enclosure for sheep and goats...................................... Anok: Nganokin.
H house ..................... ............... ..................... ..... ..... : Akai: N eakais.
Door of house............................................. ........... :Elek: Ngikekia.
Wall of house....................................... ............... Arwatata: Ngarwatat.
Structural poles of wall....................................... :Epir: Ngipirin.
Ventilator or small window in wall...............................: E-ole: Ngiolei.
Mud plaster for inside of walls................................... Ecoto: Ngicotoi.
Roof of house (complete)............................................ Ebibiru: Ngibibirr.
Pole structure of roof...................... ....................... Ecube. (sing).
G rass of roof ..............................................................: Nganya. (sing).
Bark rope for securing pole structure and binding grass...: Akonito: Ngakopit.
Laps on roof.................................................. .......: Epolonit: Ngipolon.
Fireplace within the house............................................: Ekeno: Ngikenoi.
Sleeping division or platform.......................................: Ekitada: Ngikitadae.
Sleening skin ................................. ...................................... : E:am : Neiam.
Shelf or cache in wall...............................................: Atedo: Ngatedoi.
Shelter erected in a dry season cattle camp................: Etcgo: Ngitogoi.
Dryseason cattle camp................................................: Auwi: Ngauwoyi.
Combined dwelling and granary, lower portion utilised as
a sleeping place for unmarried girls, upper portion for
keeping unthrashed grain........................................ Fkeru: Neikerui.
Basket granary for thrashed grain................................: Edula: Ngidulae.
Lid of granary................... .............. ....... : Aciko: Ngacikoi.
Cover of granary......................................................... :Aciko or Asoto:
Log support for the granary.................................. Apungure: Ngapungure.
Temporary field granary, generally circular in outline......: Atukit: Ngatukito.
Leather bag for carrying grain..................................... :Fcwee: Ngicweei.
Baton for thrashing grain.................................... ...... : Aramet. (sine.).
Large leather bag........................................................: Etokoth: Ngitokosa.
Smoother place for thrashing grain..............................: Aloth: Ngalosin.
Basketwork winnowing tray....................................: Erite: Ngiritei.
Grindstone........................... ......................: Amoru-kiinet. (sing)
G rinding stone .................... ...................................... : Flep. (sing).
Bull's scrotum for containing seed................................:Ekuwoth: Ngikuwothio.
Cultivated field..........................................................: Am ana: N gam anat.
Fence around field..................................................... Aweth: Ngawathin.
Divisions between individual plots................................ :kukoru: Ngikukorwo.
Stone or weed terraces.............................................. Ekorimin:
Platform erected in field to scare birds..........................: Fnem: Ngilemun.
Platform of earth for bird scaring................................ Ftipu: Ngitipup.
Stick for throwing clay missiles at birds......................: Aporochet:
C lay m issile............................................................ Engeleya.
String sling for throwing stones at birds.......................:Aporochet: Ngaboche.
Common metal hoe with wooden handle.......................:meleku Ngimeleketh.
Hoe with v-shaped handle...........................................:Ematido: Neimatidoi.
Small (worn) hoe. usually for weeding .........................:Erokon: Neirokonin.
Long nole hoe with ace of spade blade (Dodoth)............: Akuta: Ngakutae.
O x-plough............................ .....................................: Em eluku : N gim eleketh.
Ox-yoke..................................................................... Ayokot: N gayokoi.
92 UGANDA JOURNAL
Adcz for carving wood....................... .......................: Akujuk: Ngakuju'ka.
Hollow-headed metal axe........................................ Ayep: Ngayepe.
Traditional, wedge-shaped axe...................................: Akujuk: Ngakujuka.
K nife with handle......................................... ...... : Ekileng: N gilengia.
Knife for letting blood or shaving...............................:Ebanyet: Ngibanyeta.
N eedle ........................................ .............................. E m utu : N gim utuin.
String.. .............. ... .. ... ....... ................................ Auno: N gaunoi.
R ope......................................................................... : A kopito : N gakopit.
Braided leather rope....................................................: Arukan: Ngarukaneth.
Oysler pack for carrying loads on donkeys..................... Asaja: Ngasaja.
Conical, woven net for filtering beer.............................: Ekisese. (sing).
Beer cover............................................................... :Ebuni: N gibuni.
Grae can for rPlccnmnt on the head under loads............. Aikit: Ngaikitn.
Water jar or cbcr not with or without handles..............: Amoti: Ngamcti.
H andles of jar................. ...... .......... ................. ..... :Ekodoit : N gikodo.
N eck of jar................................. ..... ...................... :Eporoto : N giporotoi.
Lip of beer pot.................. ............. ............................ :Ekelii: N gikelio.
Cooking pot with wide orifice..................................... Agulu: Ngalui.
Cooking Bowl..........................................................:Atabok: N gataboka.
Pot for storing oil..................................................... Aino: Ngabunui.
Wooden block for supporting beer pot.......................: Aikit: Ngaikita.
Woden beer scoop....................................................: Akitongol: Ngangolip
Spoon .....................................................................: A koloboc: N gakoloboco.
Blade-like stick for stirring beer.....................................: Akingol. (sing).
Pronged stick for stirring gruel.................................. Egec: Ngigeca.
Spatula for eating porridge ............................................Abelekek: Ngabeleka.
Beer nipc (probably Teso in origin)..............................: Epinit: Ngipini.
Wooden howl for blood or milk.................................
Wooden bowl with spout.......................................... :Akitureta: Ngatureta.
Wooden Vessel....................................... .................: Elepit: Ngilepito.
Oval wooden trough for watering cattle.......................:Ataker: Ngatakerin.
Cylindrical or drum-like wooden container with flat hide
base and top (probably Tepes in origin)....................Etokit. (sing).
As above but smaller................................................... :Eburr. (sing).
Cylindrical wooden container with hide cap employed in
storing butterfat. ...................................................:Ekube: Ngikubei.
Elongated wooden flask with leather collar and separate
beaker for dispensing milk, (Turkana in origin but also
found among the Jie tribe)..................................... Agurum: Ngagurumo.
Wooden beaker of above............................................ :Abole: Ngabolei.
Fluted, camel-skin flask for containing butterfat, (Turkana
in origin but found among the Jie tribe)....................: Akutam. (sing).
Calabash with spout....................................................:Aturitur: Ngaturiturio
Globe-shared gourd for containing water.................... :Etwoo: Ngitwol.
Gourd with thone harness for churning butter...... ........:Ekeret: Ngikeretin.
Gourd for storing cow's urine................................... Ekuwoth: Ngikuwothio.
G"-ird -i*h extended neck for giving an enema............:Epenit. (sing).
Splints for binding fractures ............................................:Ngakabuk. (pl.).
Goat-horn section cup for drawing blood....................: Amatet: Ngamateta.
Bellows used for smeltin giron.................................. Ekicukeor or Ekitet.
Bellows pipe ...............................................................: F oroto. sing).
Refined Iron... .......................................................: Awuwat: Neasuwa.
Slag.. ........... ....... ................. .. ....................: Aneasep: Neasepa.
Hammer stone for beating iron...................................... Ekikep: Ngikepia.
Charcoal ............... ................. ........................ Atotole: N2atotol.
Friction sticks for making fire.................................. :Epiviot: Ngipip.
Snill ne'hble for cleaning gourds...............................Akokesit: Neakoketh.
Soft stone for smoothing skins...................................... :Akukuthe: Ngakukuth
Depressed-socket, stone game........................ ...........Ngikeles. (ol.).
Cairn grave (known to Oropom descendants only).........: Asenot: Ngasenon.
Stone shrine on path or at base of a tree......................: Asenosit. (sing).
Shallow well or depression in river bed...................... Akuja: Ngakujan.
Deep excavated well......... .............................. Akare: Ngakare.
Pit for catching termites................................ Akipany: Ngapanya.
Covering of sticks etc. over termite heap........................ Atitith: Ngititith.
Pit trap for catching hyenas, porcupine etc......................: Asogwat: Ngasogwae.
Vertical stakes in foregoing.................................. Akuta: Ngakutae.
Pole trap... ................................. .............. Eyolio: or Adipa. (sing).
W heel trap................................... ......................... Atacit: N gatacio.
Snare for catching hares, guinea-fowl etc...................... Eloit: Ngiloitio.
Small hunting net for catching dikdik etc. (Dodoth)......... Alelewa. (sing).
Hunting net of considerable length (Probably Tobur in
origin)..................................................................... Atibai: N gatibaa.
Pegs for drying skins................................ ........... Athinin: Ngasess.
Small excavated dam......................................... Atapar: Ngataparin.
Fishing hook............................................................... Ekodeet or Emidiwan.
PRIMARY SUCCESSION AT THE HIPPO POOL
RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK.
By E. L. EDROMA.
Rwenzori National Park, at the foot of the Rwenzori ranges, stands
astride the equator. The park includes much of the coastline of lakes Idi
Amin Dada (formerly Lake Edward) and Lake George, connected by the 40
km long Kazinga Channel. Numerous wallows exist throughout the park.
The wallows, lakes, the channel and the rivers are used regularly by the
variety of wild animals for drinking and bathing during hot days, and daily
by the hippos for spending their day time. Economically these habitats with
their animal population are of immense tourist attraction. A large number
of wallows are losing their value as favourable habitats for the hippos and
as scenic beauty, following their invasion and colonisation by the Nile
cabbage (Pistia stratiotes, L.)
In the recent years several wallows underwent successional changes and
they have become dry land and vegetated by terrestrial plants. The former
pool near Ishasha camp and several others in the grassland between Mara-
magambo Forest and Kazinga Channel are examples. These, now dry de-
pressions, have lost their hippo populations completely. The famous Hippo
Pool (20km northeast of Mweya Lodge) on which this report is based is
one of the habitats undergoing profound ecological changes.
The hippo pool is surrounded by at least 0.6km wide belt of almost
bare ground created by the excessive over-grazing by the hippos.Eragrosti
pyramidalis, P. Beauv., S.stapfianus Gand., Eragrosti tenuifolia (A. Rich)
Steud., Portulaca quodrifida, L. Tribulus terrestris, L., Euphorbia hirta, L.,
Cynadon dactylon (L.) Pers., Indigofera spp. and Capparis thickets are found
in widely scattered patches especially on the elevated grounds. Very occasion-
ally Tephrosia spp. are present especially in the drainage channels. The soil
is compacted by trampling and degraded by severe water and wind erosion.
Away from the pool the mosaic vegetation cover is Chloris pycnothrix Tir.,
Chrysochloa orientalis, Aristida adscensionis, L., pyramidalis, Microchloa
kunthii Desv., Tragus berteronianus, Schult. and Bothriochloa insculpta
The pool itself is now completely covered with P.stratiotes. Areas with
appreciable depths of water are covered by green P.stratiotes while those with
shallow water are dominated by Hydrocotyle aquatica and numerous patches
of species of Cyperus echnochloa and aquatic dicotyledonous herbs. Consider-
able numbers of Eleusine indica L. Gaertu, C.dactylon Cyperus distans,
C.leaevigatus, and Amaranthus spp. occupy the outer belt of the pool where
both the water and P. stratiotes are drying up. The distribution and number
of these plants increase towards the dry land where the poor vegetation cover
is predominantly of isolated Amaranthus spp., Alternenthera pungens
Suessen, E. indica and Eragrostis spp. A few plants of these terrestrial species
also occur in the outer pool standing above the cabbage where the basement
of the pool reaches or emerges above the surface of the water.
The Nile cabbage Pistia stratiotes, a floating aquatic plant, has been
existing in small quantities for years in the lakes, the wallows, the Channel,
and other water masses in the park. In April 1972 the species suddenly
increased its population spreading rapidly in the Channel and the shores
of the lakes. The hippo pool and large parts of Kazinga Channel were invaded
and completely covered by the plants within a week. The abundance of the
cabbage in the Channel and the shores of the lakes declined within two
months of the outbreak. But the hippo pool has remained covered by the
cabbage. The Pistia population absorbs and evaporates plenty of water and
the hippo pool is certainly contracting in size. Remains of dead Pistia settle
down and contribute to the silting of the pool. Since 1972 the pool has been
changing gradually into terrestrial conditions. It seems apparent that the
ecology of other organisms especially the hippos living in and around these
water masses are being affected. The hippo population in the nool has been
dropping steadily as follows: over 500 in 1971, 350 in August 1972, 270
on June 1973 and 0 in February 1974. Since the outbreak of the weed
(Pistia) the hippos have been moving out. The exodus of the hippos became
significant as the cabbage continued to alter the environmental conditions
of the pool to favour higher terrestrial plants. In an effort to save the pool
the park authority tried to remove the Pistia by hand on a boat. A small
area of 450m2 was cleared by ten porters in over two months. As the cabbage
had a high rate of vegetative reproduction, the mechanical method adapted
for removing the weed failed. A faster speed of removal or other methods of
controlling the population of the weed are required if other hippo wallows
facing Pistia invasion are to be maintained.
The nature of colonization of the pool by a series of plant species
shows that the pool is experiencing natural hydroseral process which will
result into complete loss of the pool as it is known today. If the pool is to
be saved from these changes the cabbage must first be eliminated or its
population maintained to the lowest level. But the method of elimination or
control should be based on detailed research aimed at understanding:-
1. The factors underlying the outbreak of the Pistia population i.e. Basic
studies on its establishment, growth, reproduction, productivity, peren-
nation and under varied ecological conditions (especially temperature,
nutrient levels, pH, water depth, etc.).
2. The effect of the Pistia population on the pool as an ecosystem.