Kamuli is a town in the kingdom of Busoga in Eastern Uganda. It is the main administrative, municipal, and commercial centre of Kamuli District and has a population of around 15,000. The economy in Kamuli is largely fuelled by carpentry, metal fabrication and welding, coffee processing, maize milling and market vending.

Map of Uganda showing Kamuli


Market vendors

Downtown Kamuli

Downtown Kamuli


A typical dwelling

A typical dwelling

Key Facts:

  • 25% of Ugandans live on less than $1.20/day.
  • Another 58% are deemed highly vulnerable to poverty living on less than $2.40/day.
  • The unemployment rate is 45%.
  • The population growth rate is the second highest in the world. Most families have 5 or more children.
  • 50% of the population is under 15 years old.
  • One in four children are employed in child labour.
  • One in ten girls are married by age 15
  • Over 50% of children under 18 do not have their own blanket
  • The 2009 United Nations Human Development Ranking, rates Uganda as number 157 out of 182 countries in terms of poverty. Canada is ranked 4th, with the US sitting at number 13 and UK at number 21.



Kamuli children

Kamuli children

Key facts:

  • Life expectancy is 59 years, 22 years earlier than a UK resident.
  • A quarter of Ugandans lack access to safe drinking water and two thirds lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
  • 320 Ugandans die each day from malaria.
  • One in fourteen adults have HIV.
  • Infant mortality is 54/1000 live births, the UK rate is twelve times less (4.5/1000)
  • One in fourteen children die before their 5th birthday in Uganda. If you are born in Uganda you are 20 times more likely to die than a child born in the UK.
  • Over half of child deaths are a result of malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. Most child deaths can easily be prevented with simple interventions such as nets, rehydration treatment and antibiotics.
  • Over half of children suffer from poor nutrition and this contributes to more than a third of all child deaths
  • A third of children are malnourished or suffer severe growth problems


From 1997, primary education in Uganda has been free for all children. However with 7 million school children and only 126,000 teachers, class sizes are usually between 70-150 pupils.
A typical classroom

A typical classroom

Only some of primary school graduates go on to any form of secondary education for which they must pass their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). Normally primary school should last seven years, but many pupils drop out part way through and return later, so it is not unusual to find teenagers sitting primary exams.
Although education is free, pupils, especially those in rural areas like Kamuli, face serious challenges to finishing their education – for example, they lack materials, like books and pens, they often have to study all day on an empty stomach since no meals are provided at school, and schools often have poor teaching.
Once girls reach puberty, fathers start anticipating their “bride price” – the number of cows they will get for them when they are married. Girls are seen as a source of wealth and educating girls is seen of little benefit.

Key facts:

  • Literacy rate among children aged 10 years or over is 73%
  • Although 96% of children were enrolled in primary school in 2010, only 54% completed P7
  • Only a quarter of 13 to 18 year olds complete primary school.
  • About 490,000 pupils sat PLE in 2010 and of these 88 percent passed.
  • Majority of students enrolled in higher institutions are males.

Compiled using:


Ugandan poverty status report 2012

Ugnadan Bureau of Statistics 2012

Millenium Development Report for Uganda 2013