President Museveni has declared Basoga of eastern Uganda as one of the cleverest tribes in Africa.
“One of the cleverest tribes in Africa are the Basoga of Uganda,” he said Thursday while addressing the nation.
Museveni said while Banyankole counterparts have a lot of words, Basoga have very few, citing the example of water.
“They [Banyankole] have so many names for water. But the Basoga said “This is all a waste of time. All that is Amadhi. Rain is Amadhi, flood water is Amadhi”,” Museveni pointed out.
The eastern neighbours of Baganda, Basoga have often been ridiculed for allegedly taking long to “mature and not being very bright”.
Busoga, literally translated to Land of the Soga, is the kingdom of the 11 principalities of the Basoga/Soga (singular Musoga) people.
The term Busoga also loosely refers to the area that is generally indigenous to the Basoga.
Busoga Kingdom is composed of seven politically organised districts: Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Mayuge, Jinja, and the newly created districts of Kaliro and Busiki.
The Busoga area is bounded on the north by the swampy Lake Kyoga, on the west by the Victoria Nile, on the south by Lake Victoria, and on the east by the Mpologoma River, Busoga also includes some islands in Lake Victoria, such as Buvuma Island.
Home of the first ever woman Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and first ever vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, currently poverty is affecting over 90 percent of people in this Kingdom.
Water and wetlands
The President was talking about water for drinking, water for production, water for hygiene, water for industry which he said comes from one main source: rain.
“Rain itself comes from water. Which water? Water of the Lakes, swamps, forests, rivers and oceans (the distant ones – such as the Indian Ocean and the Pacific).”
“According to our Scientist, Mafaabi, 40% of our rain comes from our local water bodies and wetlands and 60% comes from the Oceans.”
Museveni said in ignorance, some people have been destroying the wetlands and forests.
“Hence, the erratic rains like the ones we saw recently. This must be stopped and it is easy to stop.”
He said people in the wetlands and encroaching on the Lake-shores, river-banks, etc., should peacefully leave these bodies and government helps them with alternative livelihood ─ especially fish-farming which is even more lucrative than rice growing and growing yams.
“Besides, the good news is that we can even do agriculture without soil (hydroponics). Apart from interfering with the rain, cutting the tree cover also causes violent, windy down pours (eihuunga and even eshato) as well as landslides. It also causes soil erosion and the silting of water bodies such as Lakes.”
Regarding the long established swamp rice growers of, mainly, Eastern Uganda, Museveni said he will visit the area, again, after his up-country tour.
“We shall discuss how to, for, instance, transition from the destructive rice growing to the more lucrative and environment friendly fish farming at the edge of the swamps (enayegyego) and not in the center of the swamp.”