As the number of Indians increased in Mbale town in the early 1900s, there was a need to establish their own school. North Road, a residential street dominated by Indians, saw the establishment of the first primary school with an Indian-inspired architecture unveiled on July 6th, 1932.

The foundation stone for the school was laid by Sardar Wazirsingh Rais Ludhiana. The block has five rooms. It is reported that one room served as an office –as the other four were used as classrooms. In 1948, a bigger block, also with Indian-inspired architecture, was constructed to cater for the increased population of Indians. This resulted in the establishment of the Indian Quarters where a secondary school –Mbale Secondary School for Indian students, was constructed.

North Road primary school served as a feeder school for Mbale SS.  In 1952, a British architectural-inspired building was constructed. There is scanty information about the school management between 1932 and 1972. The only recorded headteacher is R.D. Kailash (1951-1973). When President Idi Amin expelled Asians in 1972, the school was taken over by the Ugandan government, hence, African pupils started to be enrolled. The first African headteacher is recorded as Mr. Washaki (1973-1979).

CCFU’s efforts to safeguard and promote built and natural heritage

In 2020, CCFU established a heritage trust – the Heritage Conservation Trust of Uganda to champion the safeguarding of historic sites, cultivate pride in our heritage and help citizens and foreign visitors alike experience the “spirit” of a city, community and nation; and to protect our natural heritage. Having a dedicated Trust accelerates our efforts to protect historic sites in the country.

In 2015, we embarked on a programme whose ultimate objective is to protect and promote historic buildings and sites in Uganda. As a first step, maps of historic properties in KampalaEntebbeJinja and Fort Portal were produced. This was followed by a training for owners and managers of historical buildings and support to the development of information materials on selected properties. The Foundation has also worked with Mengo Hospital and the Ham Mukasa family in a bid to celebrate specific historical buildings in Kampala (these appear on the historical buildings map of Kampala).

CCFU is also engaging with KCCA to promulgate an Ordinance to protect Historic Properties in Kampala. This work complements our active engagement with the International National Trusts Organisation.

In 2018, with support from the European Union, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) recognised and unveiled commemorative plaques on notable historical sites in Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe. These events were preceded by a training of photographers and researchers on how to document historical buildings and seminars on the value and contribution of historical buildings and sites in Jinja, Entebbe and Kampala. Three outputs including an executive book, maps and a mobile app (for android and IOS users) were launched.

In 2022, CCFU in partnership with the Uganda Railways Corporation and support from the European Union and SOGEA-SATOM established the Uganda Railway Museum. Its role is to highlight the role of the railway line on Uganda’s history and nation building.

The Uganda Railways Museum is premised on CCFU’s previous work on the history of the railway in Uganda. A book titled “Our Railways, Our History” was produced in 2020 to recognise and celebrate the story of our railway lines; explore their role in the lives of Ugandans who lived and worked along them, and their place in the country’s economic and political development. The book is available at 90,000shs at selected bookshops and CCFU offices.

Crowd fundraising to document historic buildings, sites and monuments in Mbale

CCFU is running a crowd fundraising campaign aimed at ‘preserving and promoting historic buildings, sites and monuments in Mbale’

Read about the campaign here or see flyer for details