Jinja Town

ZulaJinja Town

Jinja is a town in Uganda, and is located at the northern end on Lake Victoria in South Eastern Uganda. Lying just north of the Equator, on an altitude of 3,750 feet (1100 meters) above sea level, It sits along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, near the source of the White Nile on coordinates 00°25′24″N 33°12′14″ECoordinates 00°25′24″N 33°12′14″E it enjoys a very pleasant climate with temperatures ranging from 63 to 82 degrees F. (17 degrees to 28 degrees C).its located in Eastern Region of Uganda in Busoga Sub-region in Jinja district

History of Jinja

The city was planned under colonial rule in 1948 by Ernst May, German architect and urban planner. May also designed the urban planning scheme for Kampala, creating what he called “neighborhood units.” Estates were built for the ruling elite in many parts outside the center city. This led to the area’s ‘slum clearance’ which displaced more than 1,000 residents in the 1950s

In 1954, the construction of the Owen Falls Dam submerged the Ripon Falls. Most of the “Flat Rocks” that gave the area its name disappeared under water as well. A description of what the area looked like can be found in the notes of John Hanning Speke, the first European to know the source of the river Nile:

In 1860 Speke left Zanzibar on a new expedition to prove his theories regarding the origins of the Nile and on 28st July 1862, was the first European (on record) to reach the outlet from Lake Victoria where the river starts.  After Twelve years (1872) Henry Morton Stanley’s epic proved Speke was correct.

Only the people who lived near the great lake knew that the Kiyira (River Nile) flowed from it. But although they daily witnessed the beginning of its journey, they did not know where it eventually led nor of its significance for mankind.

Speke described his “discovery” thus: “We were well rewarded, for “the stones” as the Waganda call the falls was by far the most interesting sight I had seen in Africa”. The falls that Speke saw, naming them the Ripon Falls after the President of the Royal Geographical Society in London, are now submerged.

In 1906 Jinja declared a township. Early plan shows grid pattern of streets, with a Collectorate building at head of pier, Busoga Square (as a “Union Jack-“ layout), Bell Avenue (then called Nile Avenue) separating the residential area from the commercial area to the north, and a Bazaar and market place at the intersection of Main Street and Bell Avenue. Population was 3,000 within a township of 8.3 square kilometres by then.

A railway line was constructed from Jinja to Namasagalibeginning in 1910 and completed in 1912, as part of a route that connected Mombassa with Eastern Congo. The railway was primarily used to transport cotton from the areas around Lake Kyoga. The cotton was stored in Jinja and then shipped across to Kisumu and then by train to the coast.

F.M Simpson who was administratorprepared an extension plan for Jinja, In 1913. He sought to introduce green belts as a means of segregating races. However, the pre-existing grid structure had become firmly established and was gradually extended north and east to provide more residential plots. Simpson’s plan relocated the market to its present site in an attempt to segregate European from Asian and African trading.

In 1925 a proclamation was issued, enlarging the town boundaries to include a total area of 16 square kilometres and by 1928 the railway from Mombassa was extended to Jinja. A road / rail bridge was built across the river and by 1931 Jinja was connected by rail with Kampala.

The District Administrator at that time prepared a new plan for Jinja. A E Miram was pessimistic as he saw little future for the growth of Jinja in light of the rapid expansion of Kampala. His plans, however, introduced the idea of a drive (i.e. Nile Drive) along the river and lake banks. The first full-time Conservancy Office and Sanitary Inspector in Uganda was appointed to Jinja. A total of 444 houses existed in Jinja at this time.

However industrial development started and in 1937 when a thermal electricity plant was constructed in Jinja and first cotton mill constructed at Kirinya. Coronation Park was laid-out and considerable pressure was exerted for the upgrading and provision of “African” housing sites, resulting in the proposal for Mpumudde Estates.

The biggest effect on industry in Jinja began in 1949 with the start of construction of the Owens Falls Dam which was completed in 1954. The significance of this is indicated by the opening ceremony being attended by the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

The first industries in Jinja were based primarily on agricultural production, particularly cotton, sugar and timber.

After the construction of the dam Jinja got a tremendous advantage in the race for economic progress. The Government’s decision to gazette Jinja as Uganda’s industrial town and the enactment of a policy that provided for preferential electricity tariffs for the people of Jinja saw a rise in the number of industries.

Such conditions led to the birth of the textile manufacturing industry, a brewery in Njeru, and a plywood factory, which was the first in East Africa. Later, a copper smelter for the treatment of copper concentrates from Kasese in Western Uganda, a tobacco factory and the first steel rolling plant in East Africa, the East African Steel Corporation opened in 1963. In 1964, the Uganda Grain Milling Company opened up the Jinja Flour Mill, while in 1965, the Madhvani family opened up the second textile mill, Mulco Textiles.

HISTORY OF THE RIVER NILE

13,000 years ago movements in the tectonic plates overlapping at the edge of the Western Rift Valley shifted the outlet for Lake Victoria (Nalubale) east to a point beside what is now known as Jinja – place of the rocks – Uganda’s second largest urban centre.

This exit point, the only major outlet for the lake, was partially dammed by a granite outcrop that came to be known as Rippon Falls, the start of the River Nile, while the source (defined as the furthermost point in the catchments area) is in Rwanda and the southernmost point in the catchments area is in Burundi.

The Luganda word for the stone is “ejjinja” and at the village overlooking the river there was a large stone from which the town got it’s name. The stone can still be seen today.The municipality covers an area of 11.5 square miles (28 Square Kilometres).

In the 1st millennia BCE Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from West Africa into Great Lakes region. The Bantu expansion introduced agriculture into those parts of East Africa either not reached previously by Nilo-Saharan farmers or too wet for millet, slowly intensifying farming and grazing over all suitable regions of East Africa, including the Nile valley.

Until about 1900 Jinja was no more than a very small village situated near the place where canoes made the crossing of the Nile from Busoga into the neighbouring tribal kingdom of Buganda.

By 1890 the Napoleon Gulf as the bay through which the waters of the lake funnel into the Nile is called, was becoming of increasing importance as the main ferry on the route from Kampala to the Kenyan port of Kisumu, and in 1901 the Protectorate Government administrator in Busoga moved his headquarters from Iganga to Jinja.

Only 30 years earlier (1862), the the first European visitor, English soldier and explorer John Hanning Speke had arrived on the west bank opposite Jinja, confirming for the outside world that Lake Victoria was the START (not the SOURCE) of the White Nile.

For centuries, travelers had argued about where the River Nile began. Julius Caesar said that the one thing he most wanted to know about the world was ‘where was the source of the Nile?’.

In the 19th century it became an international obsession involving such legendary explorers as Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, David Livingston and Henry Morton Stanley. In 1857-8 Burton and Speke traveled west from Zanzibar but did not reach Uganda. Once great friends and traveling companions they famously disagreed, Speke correctly believed that the Nile flowed out of Lake Victoria, while the more eloquent explorer, Richard Burton – translator of The Kama Sutra and author of The Perfumed Garden – believed the Nile flowed from Lake Tanganyika and that the Victoria Nyanza was seasonal.

In 1860 Speke left Zanzibar on a new expedition to prove his theories regarding the origins of the Nile and on 28st July 1862, was the first European (on record) to reach the outlet from Lake Victoria where the river starts. Twelve years later Henry Morton Stanley’s epic circumnavigation of Lake Victoria in 1874 proved Speke had been correct.

Only the people who lived near the great lake knew that the Kiyira (River Nile) flowed from it. But although they daily witnessed the beginning of its journey, they did not know where it eventually led nor of its significance for mankind.

Speke described his “discovery” thus: “We were well rewarded, for “the stones” as the Waganda call the falls was by far the most interesting sight I had seen in Africa”. The falls that Speke saw, naming them the Ripon Falls after the President of the Royal Geographical Society in London, are now submerged.

POPULATION OF JINJA FROM 2000-  CURRRENT

The national census of 2002 estimated Jinja’s population was 71,213 of which 36,325 were males and 34,888 were females. In 2010, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 82,800. In 2011, UBOS estimated the population at 89,700In 2014, the national population census put the population at 72,931

However, the Municipality Authority contested the recent census of 2014, saying it under-counted Jinja’s population is above the statistics carried out

The majority of the populations are of Bantu origin. Lusogais the main local language people speak here and resembles Luganda in its sound. Jinja has a large population of inhabitants who are defined as “working urban poor”. The average annual household income is estimated at US $100

Economy

Jinja had the second largest economy in Uganda. In the past, factories chose Jinja as their base because of the nearby electric power station at the Owen Falls Dam Since the early 2000s, the economy of Jinja has picked up steadily.] The main economic activities take place in the central business is trade

A new market for fresh produce was completed during the fourth quarter of 2014. The facility can accommodate up to 4,500 vendors and cost US$13.7 million to construct, and was completedin 2014

The biggest local employer in this region is the Kakira Sugar Works (KSW), a member of the Madhvani Group of companies.

KSW is one of the largest sugar factories in East Africa, employing over 7,500. The factory burns bagasse byproducts from sugar manufacturing to generate 50 megawatts of electricity for internal use and sale to the national grid. Sugar cane cutting median wages are about UGX:1,000 per day.

The headquarters of Nile Breweries Limited are inNjeru, a suburb of Jinja, near the Source of the Nile, from which the brewery has been drawing its water for the past fifty years. Building of the brewery commenced in 1952 and was completed four years later. Bottles of Nile Beer, renamed Nile Special Lager, the company’s flagship brand, were first consumed in 1956. In 2001, Nile Breweries Limited was fully acquired by South African Breweries

MM Integrated Steel Uganda Limited is one of the leading manufacturers of steel in the region. It has completed a $47 million (Shs122 billion) plant to produce 50,000 metric tons of steel products a year and directly employs 1,800 people. The company has projected to invest US$600 million through 2018.

The Bidco international oil refining company maintains a palm oil factory in the city. The palm oil fruits come from Bidco’s 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) plantation on Bugala Island in the Ssese Islands Archipelago, Kalangala District, in Lake Victoria. The factory in the islands crushes the fruit, and the crude Palm oil is transported to Jinja for refining into edible oil and other products

Kiira Motor Corporation, also known as the Kiira EV Project, a locally based startup car company, expects to set up the first car manufacturing facility in Uganda, based in Jinja. The Kiira EV Project received 100 acres (40 ha) of land at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park. Production is expected to start in 2018. The government of Uganda will provide funding to the initial production and setting up of a factory for the project

WIEGO, in collaboration with Nurturing Uganda, is conducting a project allowing women to sustain herself better, giving them the opportunity to cover their children’ school expenses

Traveling to Jinja.

Jinja is only 80km from Kampala but allow at least 2 hours (currently there are roadworks that can delay even longer) by road, the slowest section is getting out of Kampala and past Mukono. From there (apart from a stream of slow heavy vehicles) the going is generally much easier and you pass through areas of sugarcane and tea plantations, Mabira Forest and down from Mbiko into the Nile Valley, crossing the River over the Owens Falls and Nalubale Dams. A new bridge is currently being built for completion soon

Rush hour in Jinja is very different from that in Kampala. With much less traffic it is very easy to get around. At least half of all vehicles are bicycles and small motorcycles (boda-boda taxis). Generally there’s a cool breeze blowing in from Lake Victoria, clean air rather than smog to breath.

Along the Main Street there are views out over the lake. Parking is rarely a problem. Boda-boda motorcycle taxis provide an easy way to get around the town and are found on almost every street corner. There is a slow, steady feel to life here. A recent Town Council campaign to clean up the streets and shop fronts has made Jinja even more attractive.

Though beautiful, the scene was not exactly what I expected, for the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of hill, and the falls, about twelve feet deep and four to five hundred feet broad, were broken by rocks; still it was a sight that attracted one to it for hours. The roar of the waters, the thousands of passenger fish leaping at the falls with all their might, the fishermen coming out in boats, and taking post on all the rocks with rod and hook, hippopotami and crocodiles lying sleepily on the water, the ferry at work above the falls, and cattle driven down to drink at the margin of the lake, made in all, with the pretty nature of the

Jinja is also a relatively easy day’s drive from Nairobi in Kenya (580 km) and for a relaxing long-weekend away from the “big smoke” and fast pace of Kenya’s capital or other cities in East Africa. Unless it is to visit friends or family why bother with the extra hours spent continuing on to Kampala when you can find great accommodation, activities, sight-seeing, rest and relaxation in and near-by this small city where the River Nile leaves Lake Victoria.

You can also travel to Jinja by Air, The Jinja Airfield is now back in operation. Companys offering flights from Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala and from Entebbeinternational  Airport include Fly Uganda , and KE Aviation

Tour Packagesare available with many professional tour companies based in Kampala, Nairobi and Jinja. The variety of activities is extensive – for individuals and groups, corporate functions and team building activities, family trips, organisations and anyone looking to get time out from the hustle and bustle of the big cities like Kampala and Nairobi.

Google Maps – directions from Kampala to Jinja.

Google Maps – Nairobi to Jinja.

Jinja is a major station on the Uganda Railway and is a port for Lake Victoria ferriesJinja Airport, a small civilian and military airport, is located at kimaka, about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Jinja’s central business district.

A bridge, known as the New Jinja Bridge, is planned across the Nile, connecting the town of Njeru to Jinja. Construction started in 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2016.

Defense

The Qaddafi Barracks, an institution of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), are in Jinja. They are the location of the Uganda Junior Staff College,] one of the about dozen military schools in UgandaThe town is also the site of the Uganda Senior Command andStaff College, another UPDF institution, located in the Kimakaneighborhood about 2.8 miles (4.5 km) north of Jinja’s central business district.

Electricity generation

In 1993, construction began on a second power station at the source of the White Nile; an extension of the original Nalubaale Power Station. The extension was completed in 2003, named the Kiira Power Station, and is capable of producing 200 megawatts of hydroelectric power at maximum utilization.

 

 

Education

The city also has several educational establishments including the following:

Universities and colleges

  • Royal Academy of Art and Design
  • Eastern Campus of Makerere University
  • Jinja Campus of the Makerere University Business School
  • Jinja Campus of Busoga University
  • Jinja Campus of Kampala University
  • Nsaka University
  • Civil Service College UniversityInternational Institute of Health Sciences
  • Jinja Vocational Institute]
  • YMCA College of BusinessNile Vocational InstituteJInja School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Hotel and Tourism Training Institute

Civil Service College Uganda

  • Jinja School of Ophthalmic Clinical Officers
  • Medical Laboratory Technicians School, Jinja
  • Pasty Helm Memorial Vocational Training Center

Military colleges

Secondary schools

  • Jinja College
  • Busoga College
  • Amazima School
  • Holy Cross Schools
  • Kakira Secondary School
  • Lords Meade School
  • Nakanyonyi Girls School
  • Pilkington College Muguluka
  • James’ Secondary School, Jinja
  • Bugembe Islamic Institute Secondary School.

Primary schools

  • Galaxy International School-Jinja Campus
  • Jinja Christian School
  • Jinja Montessori Pre School
  • Kiira International School
  • Kiira Primary School
  • Maggwa Crescent Primary School
  • Riverside Academy
  • Shilo Nile Star Nursery and Primary School
  • Spire Road Primary School
  • Victoria Nile Primary School
  • Vic View Primary School

Local  touristattractions

By the early 1990’s tourism was reviving in Uganda, and worldwide adventure tourism was growing in popularity. By having the natural beauty and big cascades a few kilometers downstream, starting at Bujagali Falls, Jinja received an extra advantage in 1996 when commercial White-Water Rafting first commenced on the upper reaches of the high volume River Nile shortly after the rapid-busting trips by Cam McLeay (Adrift), Jon Dahl and Fraser Small (Nile River Explorers).

In November 2011 the completion of the Bujagali Dam submerged several of the large rapids above the dam but rafting trips shifted their start point to below the new dam and extended

Jinja is commonly regarded as “the adventure capital of East Africa” due to the very many activities in town that one could engage in, especially for tourists

Local attractions include white-water rafting, the “Source of the Nile”, Bungee Jumping, and the Nile Breweries Limited‘s large brewery. About 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Jinja is the BujagaliPower Station. The hydroelectric facility is providing 250 megawatts of electric power.Bugembe also has the headquarters of Jinja District.There is an active Hindu temple near Jinja, which has a bronze bust of Gandhi.Jinja is the location of the headquarters of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation, a subsidiary of the East African Community. Jinja also has the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jinja, headed by Bishop Charles MartinWamika.Jinja hosts the regional offices of the Uganda Red Cross Society, a humanitarian organization

Jinja Hospital, Jinja Airport, Kiira Power Station, List of birds in Jinja, Nalubaale Power Station, Bujagali Power Station, Madhvani Group, Njeru

Visit the ‘Source’ of the River Nile: In Coronation Park there are cultural displays and craft shops. In the gardens beside the Golf Course a plaque refers to John Hanning Speke (the first European to visit the area) and a shrine to Mahatma Gandhi. From here you can take a boat cruise at the start of the River Nile out into Lake Victoria.
Entry * East African 5,000/= * Foreign Visitor 10,000/= * Car 2,000/= * Minibus 5,000/= *

Restaurants: Uganda, Indian, European, Chinese and Middle Eastern – Jinja offers good food for everyone.Accommodation: There are many options for all budgets; hotels, guesthouses, and backpackers in and near Jinja.A boat ride from the Source of the Nile Gardens out to nearby Samuka Island is another special way of seeing the town, giving a different perspective of Jinja while looking back to the town from the lake. BujagaliFalls and nearby Mabira Forest are only a few kilometres away. Craft Shops and Art Galleries – located along the Main Street and Iganga Road are many craft shops and a several art galleries

Mabira Forest – where you will be able to see the primates, birds, and butterflies.
Ssezibwa Falls – a Buganda Heritage site.

A Brief History River Nile.
13,000 years ago movements in the tectonic plates overlapping at the edge of the Western Rift Valley shifted the outlet for Lake Victoria (Nalubale) east to a point beside what is now known as Jinja – place of the rocks – Uganda’s second largest urban centre.

This exit point, the only major outlet for the lake, was partially dammed by a granite outcrop that came to be known as Rippon Falls, the start of the River Nile, while the source (defined as the furthermost point in the catchments area) is in Rwanda and the southernmost point in the catchments area is in Burundi.

The Luganda word for the stone is “ejjinja” and at the village overlooking the river there was a large stone from which the town got it’s name. The stone can still be seen today.

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