When Britain was colonizing throughout Africa, they formed a protectorate of Uganda in 1894, establishing administrative law. It was in 1962 that Uganda gained their independence, leading to years marked by civil war and unspeakable human tragedy under the dictatorship of Idi Amin and Milton Obote in the 1970-1980s. In 1986 Yoweri Museveni became president, introducing democratic reform and bringing much stability to the devastated country.
The people that lived through the political atrocities wear a hidden story buried under bright smiles and laughter. I have heard it said that Ugandans are the friendliest people of Africa. I would agree that they have a charm that is alluringly reserved, at least one might perceive at first, yet friendship invites lively animation through their ebullient gregariousness. They have such personality that few words can render no true comprehension after such afflictions.
Uganda is a beautifully, lush, green country resting on the equator. It is the second most populous landlocked country in the world. The commanding and resplendent Nile River begins in Jinja, Uganda, powerfully sourced from Lake Victoria which is the second largest fresh water lake worldwide residing in the southern region of Uganda.
Surroundings of water make a lovely landscape to the eye, yet summon masses of mosquitoes that ensure excessive cases of malaria to its inhabitants, which lead to about 20,000 annual deaths. Malaria remains one of the most important health challenges in the country. Even though having one of the greatest worldwide declines, thanks to the help of the church, awareness, and heath care, AIDS is another national epidemic causing 56,000 deaths annually. Combined travesties offer a culture laden with orphans and continued suffering. This does not include the affliction of warfare that oscillates on the borders.
Uganda sits 3,609 ft above sea level and even though it is equatorial, it has a non-uniform warm climate since the altitude modifies the climate ranging from 15-31 degrees C or 59-88 degrees F and reaching to the 100’s in the north. There are two seasons: wet and dry, with wet seasons varying in March-May and October-December with sunny dry seasons in between enabling two planting and harvesting seasons.
The land is covered by 34% wetlands in forms of rivers, lakes, and swamps causing their relative humidity to be 70-100%.
There is great variety of lands in Uganda from forest to grassland to wildlife reserves. The soil of the land is rich and fertile and has been called the bread basket of Africa producing an incredible selection of fruits, vegetables, grains, coffee, vanilla, and cocoa as well as a large collection of flowers, plants, scrubs, and trees. The bounty is well sufficient to feed the numerous people of Uganda. With population growth though, in many areas the land is overtaxed, depleting the soil of its capability to yield so abundantly.
Fifty-six indigenous tribes were recognized as inhabiting Uganda in the constitution act of 2005 with the population in 2020 at 46 million people with a steady rise. Uganda’s official language is Englis, with Luganda and Swahili widely spoken. Yet another 41 tribal languages are spoken among the people. This means that an individual has to know his/her own tribal languages, neighboring tribal languages, as well as English and Swahili to communicate in their daily lives.
The religions in Uganda are Christian, Animism, and Muslim. Animism was the original religion which remains among the people. Christianity was brought by the English offering hope in the truth and faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior to the world and has spread through the county as the main religion, while the Muslims moved among the people offering free education to the children and unfortunately dominating in many parts of the country now.
As you move around the country of Uganda, you will find a variety of personalities, characters, desires, food, language, and lifestyles among the different tribes. The people in the north are friendly and hospitable and generally ready to learn. There is a hunger to know God among the people.