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Länderinfo Uganda


The first thing most people will remember when they think about Uganda is most probably the name "Idi Amin". Nearly 400.000 Ugandans lost their life during his dictatorship from 1971 to 1979. Also the economy and infrastructure were totally destroyed under his reign mainly caused by his act of expelling all Asians from Uganda who were running at this time a major part of the well functioning business. Finally he was defeated in 1978 when he tried to invade the neighbouring country Tansania.

Under the current President Museveni who is president of Uganda since 1986, the country seems to be slowly coming up. In the year 2006 elections have been held and Museveni was elected once more as a president. Although the only opposition party is claiming that the elections have not been run properly. And actually Museveni would have been not allowed to candidate at all after having already completed 20 years in power. But he had changed the laws before the elections and in this way legitimated himself to candidate again.

The northern part of Uganda was suffering over the past 20 years because of a rebell group (the Lord´s Resistance Army - LRA) which is abducting children to use them as soldiers. Many people were killed over the years. In 2006 a peace agreement between the rebels and the Ugandan government has been agreed and people are now moving back from the IDP camps in which they were forced to stay over the last 20 years. But still the final agreement between the rebels and the government was never signed until today. And inspite of some improvement, Uganda is still under the 20 poorest countries world-wide.


Uganda has around 24 million inhabitants who are belonging to more than 40 different tribes. The people in Kumi belong to the tribe of the Iteso. The official language in Uganda is English, but most of the local people are only speaking their tribal languages (which means that there are also over 40 different languages!) and very little English. The language of the Iteso is called Ateso and is spoken by around 8% of the Ugandans.

Education and Health

The alphabetisation was 2002 estimated to be 67%. More than 80% of children are starting with the free primary education, but the drop-out rates are high: only 10% of all children who started with primary education reach secondary school level.

Life expectancy has risen to 47 years. There are still problems in high mortality rates for children and mothers, mainly caused by poor health services. The relation of doctors to inhabitants is about 1:25.000. The government hospitals and health centres are officially free of charge, but most of the time the drugs and other materials are out of stock and qualified staff is rarely available. Uganda can show some good results in fighting HIV / AIDS. But still the infection rate is estimated to be at around 12%. Malaria, malnutrition, HIV and diseases such as diarrheoa and respiratory tract infections are the most common causes of hospital admissions.

My working area: Kumi Hospital

Kumi Hospital is a non-government district hospital, belonging to the Church of Uganda. It is placed at a distance of 8 km from Kumi Town. It was founded in 1937 as a Leprosy Centre, but today it is a general hospital with a capacity of over 300 beds. Part of it is the Nutrition Unit, where severely malnourished children are treated and their mothers taught about nutrition and hygiene. The hospital has its own website with further information: www.kumihospital.org.

The country

Uganda is a landlocked country in eastern Africa. It borders to Kenya in the east, to Ruanda and Tansania in the south, to the DR Congo in the west and Sudan in the north. Capital and largest city in Uganda is Kampala with around 1.35 million inhabitants. Half of the Lake Victoria is placed in south-east of Uganda. The equator is running through the southern part of the country.

The climate

In the south and east the vegetation consists mainly of wet savannah and smaller tropical rain forests. While the north and north-east is characterised by dry savannah and semi-desert. The main dry season reaches from June to September, the main rainy season vom March to June. But there is also a less intense dry season from December to beginning of February and a smaller rainy season from October to December.