Mbale in the Eastern region of Uganda is home to the Bamasaba/Bagisu ethnic group famously known for the biannual Imbalu ceremony where boys who have come of age are circumcised as initiation into manhood. Africa’s first woman mayor, Janet Wesonga, (born c. 1928) served here between the years of 1967-1970.
The district has a population of 586,300 and is 225 km by road from Kampala. It is bordered by Sironko District to the North, Bududa District to the North-east, Manafwa District to the South-east, Tororo District to the South, Butaleja District to the South-west and Bududa District to the West. Pallisa and Kumi districts lie to the North-west of Mbale.
Its central town and commercial centre is Mbale, which is also the location of the district headquarters. The major language spoken here is Lugisu, also referred to as Lumasaba.
Agriculture employs about 82 per cent of Mbale’s population. The crops grown are coffee, bananas, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, sorghum and cassava.
Tourists may visit Nkokonjeru Ridge which extends from Mt. Elgon and culminates at the Wanale Cliffs and Falls above the city. Nabuyonga trail and Lake Kyoga also offer great views of flora and fauna. Statistics on Mbale.