Location & Size
Soroti district is located in Eastern Uganda. It was originally part of the mother Teso district covering Kumi, Katakwi. Kaberamaido, Amuria, Bukedea, Ngora, Serere and Soroti. The district covers approximately a total land area of 2,662.5 km2 of which 2,256.5 km2 is land and 406 km2 is water. Land is the principle natural resource the district is endowed with and forms the basis for development, through agricultural production. Land resource provides opportunities for agricultural expansion for both food security and generation of house hold income, with approximately 80% of the district’s population directly dependent on agriculture for survival and Physically the district lies approximately on latitudes 1o 33I and 2o 23I North of the equator, 30o 01I and 34o 18I degrees East of the Prime Meridian and is over 2500 feet above with dotted Lake Kyoga rocks throughout most of it. Soroti borders Serere, to the South, Ngora to the East, Katakwi to the North East, Amuria to the North, Lake Kyoga and Kaberamaido in the west.
Map of Soroti District
Key Geographical Information
The climate of the district is modified by the large swamp area sorrounding it. The rainy season is March to November, with a marked minimum in June, and marked peaks in April to May and August to October. December and January are the driest months. Of recent rainfall has been unreliable and unpredictable hence affecting the activities of people e.g agriculture, livestock rearing etc.
Rainfall normally ranges from 1000mm to 1500mm coming in two seasons; March–July and September – November. There is normally a short dry spell between the two rain seasons during mid June – mid July. The long dry season sets in during late November through to early March. The distribution is such that areas bordering Northeast experience earlier dry seasons. This is also a common occurrence at the lakeshore areas, which sometimes experience very sharp spells of drought.
Temperature, Humidity, Wind and Evapo-Transpiration
Soroti district generally records a mean annual maximum temperature of around 31.3o C and a mean minimum of around 18oC. Its extreme highest temperatures are in the month of February when it records approximately 35oC. The highest ever recorded was in February 1949 where temperatures reached 40oC.
Relative humidity ranges from 66% to 83% at 0600GMT in the morning. However, it reduces much in the afternoon (35%-57% at 1200GMT) thereby reducing chances of rainfall. During the N.E monsoon the area is swept by a wind that has traversed Somalia, passed between Abyssinian massif and Kenya highlands and the hills of Karamoja. The water vapour content of this wind is consequently low.The southwards passage of the inter-tropical convergence zone in October would appear to bring no more rain than is sufficient to produce a gradual falling off from the July peak. There are relatively high rates of evaporation in Soroti District as it lies near the equator. Evaporations are particularly high in the dry seasons.
Geology and Soils
Most of the areas in Soroti district are underlain by rocks of the basement complex Precambrian age that include granites, mignalites, gneiss, schists and quartzites.
Soroti has vegetation, which can best be described as wooded savannah, grass savanah, forests and riparian vegetation. The wooded savanna mainly comprises moist Acacia savanna associated with hyparrhenia spp and combretum savanna associated with hyparrhenia spp.
The riparian category comprises certain scattered tree grasslands associated with Setaria incrassate Hyparrheria rufa, Accacia sayel Accacia fistula, Balanities aegyptica and Terminalia spp. Soroti also has expansive wetlands, which cover vast areas including Awoja bordering Ngora District in Gweri Sub-county in Soroti County. Further to the Northeast is a vegetation characteristic of semi arid type with thorny shrubs.