Uganda: Kalangala Infrastructure Services I & II

Making connections for a brighter future


Bugala Island, situated on Lake Victoria in Uganda’s Kalangala District, has undergone a transformation over the past decade. Previously one of Uganda’s poorest districts, residents of Bugala Island lacked safe regular access to the mainland, reliable electricity and clean water.

This had constrained the growth of agriculture and fishing activities on the island and prevented the realisation of its tourism potential. In 2005, InfraCo Africa began to address these constraints and established an infrastructure company, Kalangala Infrastructure Services (KIS). Today, the island is thriving and Kalangala is among Uganda’s wealthiest regions. KIS has played a major role in this transformation.



2007 -

KIS is a pioneering mixed utility company that has responded to the complexity of Bugala Island’s needs. KIS has delivered and now operates two modern roll-on roll-off ferries; has upgraded the island’s 66km Luuku – Mulabana main road; is distributing clean water to 19 villages on the island; and has developed 1.6MW of hybrid solar-diesel power and recently taken over operation of the Kalangala Town Council (KTC) grid.

In 2005, the residents of Bugala Island approached InfraCo Africa to ask for help in refurbishing and developing their infrastructure. The complexity inherent to multi-sector small-scale island infrastructure had deterred the private sector and required significant expertise to balance commercial viability and affordability. InfraCo Africa led the design and development of the Kalangala project.

Working with the Ugandan government, InfraCo Africa negotiated a tolling scheme for the ferries and addressed the legal and regulatory challenges associated with establishing the first private mixed utility in Uganda. DG OBA grant of US$5m, InfraCo Africa enabled the launch of the first ferry and so build confidence and engagement in the project. InfraCo Africa also designed an innovative project financing package which blended various financing instruments and mobilised support from its sister PIDG companies.

Today, all four components of the project are fully operational and KIS has defined an ambitious vision for the future. Solar power could be scaled-up by 300% and distribution and electrification expanded.

Funding has been provided by the Industrial Development Corporation, Uganda Development Corporation, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, Nedbank and TA. InfraCo Africa has maintained its interest in KIS and remain committed to its future development.


The multi-sector nature of the project has enabled it to have a much larger impact on living standards than each element could have achieved in isolation. Those villages now supplied with clean, safe water have seen an 80% drop in waterborne disease. Refrigerated trucks are able to access the island, enabling fisherman to increase the value of their catches by selling fish fresh and at mainland markets. The provision of electricity and a regular free ferry service to the mainland has provided new economic opportunities to islanders and stimulated the development of tourism. Collectively these improvements have resulted in more permanent dwellings being built on Bugala Island as incomes improve and islanders have a greater confidence in their future.

See the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which was carried out for the Kalangala Infrastructure Services project in 2007.

“I was privileged to be selected by KIS as one of the ferry trainees, and later appointed as an employee…After getting this job, my social, health and economic conditions improved…I can now pay for my children’s school fees, feed them well and take care of their health.”

Theresa Namutebi, one of the first certified female mariners in Uganda.


Lawrence Ligunda

Creating connections

The late Lawrence Ligunda was an early captain of the MV Ssese, one of Kalangala Infrastructure Services’ regular ferries linking Bugala Island and the Ugandan mainland. Our KIS project is connecting people and stimulating business growth.


Dr Batuusa Florence

Advancing healthcare

Dr Batuusa Florence is the former Director of Health Centre IV on Bugala Island. With access to reliable power, clean water and safer transport links, the Centre can better meet the needs of its patients.  Our KIS project is improving health outcomes.


Nabukenya Goreti

Sustaining healthy lives

Nabukenya Goreti manages a water stand tap for Kalangala Infrastructure Services on Bugala Island, Uganda. Being a tap manager supplements her income and ensures that customers have clean drinking water. Our KIS project is sustaining healthy lives.

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