Salt is one of the basic needs in life and it is widely used in Uganda. Lake Katwe salt industry is the main source of salt and income in the country. People around Lake Katwe are still practicing rudimentary mining of salt which helps them to make a living after selling salt and those employed in the salt industry.
At Lake Katwe, salt is mined from January to March and from July to September when there is much sunshine. Salt traders come from nearby markets in Uganda and from other countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and Tanzania.
It was regarded such an expensive mineral and was exchanged for other item like clothes and even guns which were given the ruler of that time in exchange of slaves.
Salt mining as in western Uganda has a strong history as in 1875, an explorer by the names; H.M Stanley was the first white man to make a written report of the history of salt Exploitation at Lake Katwe during his journey in Africa.
It is emphasised that ever since the colonial times salt production at Lake Katwe has been one of the most important sources of revenue for the local administrations in the area. Nowadays, Katwe Kabatoro Town Council is also struggling to get total ownership and administration of the same lake.
Lake Katwe is the largest salt lake in Uganda and have various types of salt produced from the same lake. It has a circumference of 8 km. 21 streams around the lake pour in fresh water every day from the surrounding rocks.
Not only salt mining, Lake katwe is a source of foreign exchange through tourism. Many tourists are seen exploring salt Lake Katwe salt region during their Uganda safaris through Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Uganda’s most popular national parks. From there, tourists can move to Kibale chimpanzee forest to trek chimpanzees, nature walks, and cultural walks and so on. They can also decide to go to Bwindi Impenetrable forest or Mgahinga Forest National Park to track Gorillas.