Mbarara City is a city in the Western Region of Uganda and the second largest city in Uganda after Kampala. The city is divided into 6 boroughs of Kakoba Division, Kamukuzi Division, Nyamitanga Division, Biharwe Division, Kakiika Division, Nyakayojo Division. It is the main commercial centre of most of south western districts of Uganda and the site of the district headquarters.[1][4] In May 2019, the Uganda's cabinet granted Mbarara a city status, which started on 1 July 2020.

Mbarara City
Land of Milk
Ebirungi Biruga Omutuutu (Good things come from sweat)
Mbarara City
Location in Uganda
Coordinates: 00°36′48″S 30°39′30″E
Country Uganda
RegionWestern Region
Sub-regionAnkole sub-region
DistrictMbarara District
  MayorRobert Mugabe Kakyebezi [2]
4,860 ft (1,480 m)
 (2014 Census)[3]
Time zone+3 (East African Standard Time)
Area code140


Mbarara is an important transport hub, lying west of Masaka on the road to Kabale, near Lake Mburo National Park. This is about 270 kilometres (168 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda's capital and oldest city.[5] The coordinates of the Mbarara central business district are 00 36 48S, 30 39 30E (Latitude:-0.6132; Longitude:30.6582).[6] The city lies at an average elevation at about 1,147 metres (3,763 ft) above sea level.[7]

City Wards

The city has a total of 23 wards spread across 6 divisions and 2 constituencies

Mbarara City Wards
Mbarara City North Mbarara City South
Ruharo Nyamityobora
Kakoma Katete
Nyarubanga Ruti
Rwemigyina Bugashe
Kakiika Katojo
Kishasha Kichwamba
Bunutsya Nyarubungo II
Nyabuhama Rukindo
Rwenjeru Rwakishakizi
Biharwe East
Biharwe West


In 2002, the national census estimated the population of the town at 69,400. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 82,000 in 2010. In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year population at 83,700.[8] In August 2014, the national population census put the population at 195,013.[3]

Historical population


Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is 94 mm | 4 inch. The variation in annual temperature is around 2.4 °C | 4.3 °F. The month with the highest relative humidity is November (76.93 %). The month with the lowest relative humidity is July (53.76 %). The month with the highest number of rainy days is October (22.37 days). The month with the lowest number of rainy days is July (3.67 days). Mbarara is in the middle and the summers are that easy to define.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C 27.1 28.1 27.2 25.8 25.5 26.2 26.9 26.3 26.2 25.7 25 25.6 26.3
Average low °C 16.6 17.2 17.1 16.5 16.2 16 16 16.2 15.8 16 15.8 16 16.3
Average rainfall mm 39 43 74 93 72 28 15 51 74 107 109 68 773
Average high °F 80.8 82.6 81.0 78.4 77.9 79.2 80.4 79.3 79.2 78.3 77 78.1 79.4
Average low °F 61.9 63.0 62.8 61.7 61.2 61 61 61.2 60.4 61 60.4 61 61.4
Average rainfall inches 1.5 1.7 2.9 3.7 2.8 1.1 0.6 2.0 2.9 4.2 4.3 2.7 30.4
Average rainy days 7 7 12 15 12 5 3 8 13 17 17 12 128
Mean daily sunshine hours 10.2 10.3 9.7 8.9 9.1 10.0 10.4 9.9 9.8 9.4 9.1 9.7 9.7
Source 1: [10]
Source 2: [11]

Growth and expansion

Mbarara came from behind and developed to surpass Entebbe, Masaka, Gulu, and Jinja. As of 2014, Mbarara was the second-largest city in Uganda after Kampala and also second to Kampala in importance, industry, and infrastructure.[12]

Starting with 2000, modern buildings have been established including malls, arcades, plaza, and hotels. Modern hospitals have also been constructed including Mbarara Hospital, which is now a Regional Referral Hospital, Mbarara Community Hospital, a private hospital located in Kyamugorani, Kakiika Division,[13] and Mayanja Memorial Hospital, located in Nyamityobora Kakoba Division.[14]


Mbarara is the home of Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST), founded in 1989.

With significance for all Ugandan cities, Mbarara was the host to the 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Uganda Local Governments Association on 1 October, which saw the changing of the organisation to its current structure in order to represent all Ugandan local governments. Mbarara remains an active member of this governmental association.[15]

Water supply

Due to a rapidly expanding population, the current water supply from nearby River Rwizi is insufficient to meet the future needs of Mbarara City.[16] The Ugandan government has borrowed €120 million to source water from the Kagera River purify it and pump it to Mbarara, Masaka and Isingiro District.[17][18]

Mbarara Bypass Road

As part of the modernisation of the Mbarara-Katuna Road (2011 - 2015), a new northern bypass road is planned for the town. The bypass will start from the Coca-Cola Plant on Mbarara-Masaka Road at Makenke, pass through Rwebishuri and Nkokonjeru and join the Mbarara-Kabale Road at Katatumba Resort, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of the central business district. The bypass is expected to decongest the city centre by taking the long-distance trucks destined for and coming from Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo off of Mbarara's city streets. The 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) road is expected to cost about €170 million (US$210 million), of which the European Union is expected to lend about €122 million (US$153 million) with the government funding the balance from its own resources.[19]

Points of interest

The following additional points of interest lie within the city limits or close to its edges:


  • Offices of Mbarara City Council


  • Nile Breweries Mbarara - A subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev[20]
  • Century Bottling Company Limited, Mbarara - Manufacturer and distributor of Coca-Cola products[21]
  • Mbarara Steel Plant - Owned and operated by the China Machine Building International Corporation (CMIC), a Chinese Government parastal company[22]
  • Roofings Uganda limited.

Social services

  • Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital: A 600-bed, public hospital, administered by the Uganda Ministry of Health. The teaching hospital of Mbarara University School of Medicine
  • Mbarara Community Hospital: A private hospital that serves the community without regard to ability to pay.[23]
  • Mayanja Memorial Hospital: A private 100-bed hospital[24]
  • Holy Innocents Children's Hospital: A private 100-bed general pediatric hospital, administered by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara
  • Ruharo Mission Hospital: An Anglican-based 100 bed hospital located at Ruharo Cathedral, about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi), west od downtown, along the Mbarara–Ishaka Road.


  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology - one of the nine public universities in Uganda
  • Uganda Bible Institute[25]
  • The Mbarara Campus of Uganda Martyrs University
  • The Western Campus of Uganda Management Institute
  • Bishop Stuart University - a private Christian University, affiliated with the Church of Uganda located in Kakoba division (Makerere University, Kikara campus)
  • Ntare School - a boys-only boarding middle and high school
  • Mbarara High School - an Anglican-Church of Uganda-based residential boys-only middle and high school located at Ruharo Cathedral and is a government-aided school
  • Maryhill High School- a girls-only boarding middle and high school founded by the Daughters of Mary and government aided


  • Mbarara Airport - A public airport, located about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), by road northwest of town, along Mbarara-Ibanda highway.
  • Mbarara Northern Bypass Road - A 14 kilometres (9 mi) bypass road, circling the northern half of the city. Constructed between March 2015 and June 2018.

See also


  1. Ampurire, Paul (22 May 2019). "Cabinet Approves Phased Creation Of Nine New Cities Beginning 2020". Kampala: SoftPower Uganda. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  2. Adolf Ayoreka (13 July 2018). "Mbarara Mayor Involved In Accident, One Dead". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  3. UBOS (27 August 2014). "The Population of The Regions of the Republic of Uganda And All Cities And Towns of More Than 15,000 Inhabitants". Quoting Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  4. Uganda Radio Network (21 May 2019). "Cabinet approves creation of nine cities". Daily Monitor Quoting Uganda Radio Network. Kampala. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  5. Google (9 March 2021). "Road Distance between Kampala, Uganda and Mbarara, Uganda" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. Google (1 July 2015). "Location of Mbarara at Google Maps" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. Floodmap (2019). "Elevation of Mbarara, Uganda". Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  8. "Estimated Population of Mbarara Town In 2002, 2010 & 2011" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  9. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (14 June 2020). "Mbarara Population Statistics" ( Quoting Uganda Bureau of Statistics). Kampala: Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  10. "WEATHER BY MONTH // WEATHER AVERAGES MBARARA". Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  11. "WEATHER BY MONTH // WEATHER AVERAGES MBARARA". Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  12. Pelican Hotel (12 August 2014). "Why Mbarara: Features About Mbarara City". Mbarara: Pelican Hotel Mbarara. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 4 April 2015) on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  13. Bifubyeka, Ebenezer (4 April 2004). "Mbarara Gets A 2 Billion Hospital". New Vision via Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  14. Simon Mugenyi (30 March 2004). "Mbarara Gets Sh5 Billion Hospital". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  15. "About ULGA". Uganda Local Governments Association(ULGA). Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  16. Monitor Team (29 March 2019). "How are 9 municipalities prepared for city status?". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  17. Jean Marie Takouleu (6 February 2019). "Uganda: AFD invests €270 million in two water and sanitation projects". Paris, France: Afrik21. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  18. SoftPower Reporter (6 November 2018). "Government To Borrow Over One Trillion For Water Sanitation Projects". Kampala: SoftPower Uganda. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  19. Aidah Nanyonjo (26 May 2010). "Mbarara Gets Sh459 Billion Bypass". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  20. "Nile Breweries Limited – Making a difference through beer". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  21. "Soft Drinks, Soda | Coca-Cola Uganda". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  22. Vision, Reporter (24 September 2012). "China To Build US$100 Million Steel Plant In Mbarara". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  23. Fred Turyakira (28 December 2010). "Private Hospitals Urged To Implement Government Programmes". New Vision. Kampala. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 20 January 2015) on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  24. Mayanja Memorial Hospital Foundation (2014). "About Mayanja Memorial Hospital". Mbarara: Mayanja Memorial Hospital Foundation. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 17 October 2014) on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  25. "About Uganda Bible Institute". Uganda Bible Institute. Archived from the original on 10 June 2004. Retrieved 21 April 2014.

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