OVERVIEWKasese district was formed in 1974 under the Provincial Administration of Rwenzori district that was curved out of Kabarole District. Prior to this, it was part of Toro kingdom that comprised the present districts of Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge and Kasese. It is composed of two counties (Busongora and Bukonzo), five constituencies, twenty three rural sub counties, 3 Town Councils and one Municipality which has three divisions.
Kasese District is located in Western part of Uganda bordered to the North by the district of Bundibugyo, the North East by Kabarole, to the South East by Kamwenge, to the South by Rubirizi partly Rukungiri and to the West by the Democratic Republic of Congo. It lies between latitudes 0o 12’S and 0o 26’N; longitudes 29o 42’E and 30o 18’E. Kasese is a multi-ethnic district with many people of different ethnic backgrounds. The main languages and ethnic groups that dominate the area are the Lukonzo and Lutooro of the Bakonzo and Batooro people respectively.
But there are also other groups in the district who include the Banyankole, Basongora and Bakiga. There is also common usage of English, Swahili and Luganda.
Like most districts in Uganda, Kasese district is predominantly agricultural, relying on farming for employment and income. The people keep livestock including cattle, goats, sheep and pigs.
The district also has industrial potential with two operational mining operations currently mining sulphur, copper and cobalt at Kilembe. There are a number of industries in the district, which have greatly contributed to the availability of employment to the population.
Although Lake Katwe Salt Project has taken long without bearing fruits, it has significantly contributed to the welfare of the local people involved in mining. Agricultural production is high owing to the rich soils and reliable rainfall. But lack of proper information about markets denies farmers the opportunity to sell their produce profitably.
The presence of a tarmac road linking Kasese to other districts like Kabarole and Bushenyi, however, enables the district to transport its produce to other parts of the country.
Most of the produce from Kasese gets markets in urban centres in the western and central regions of Uganda. Passion fruits for example are one of the main crops from Kasese sold in most urban areas throughout the country. Kasese’s position along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo encourages border trade.
Land tenure in the district is mostly customary and freehold and there is a high potential for agricultural mechanization.