In Kibiro Village, located in Hoima District, women have found a way to make a living through salt production. They believe that the naturally salty soil in their region is a blessing that provides them with a dependable source of income. One of the residents, Ms. Judith Katusabe, has been involved in salt-making for the past two decades. She collects salty soil from her garden, dries it under the sun, and initiates the salt-making process. While this labor-intensive activity demands more than four hours of work daily under the scorching sun, it has been a reliable income source for Ms. Katusabe and her family.
The process involves placing a portion of the soil in a saucepan on a cooking stove, creating a small hole at the bottom, and pouring water into the soil to form a mixture. Another container is positioned beneath the saucepan to collect the purified water containing salt. The water initially lacks color but is salty. It takes about 30 minutes for a single saucepan of soil and water to be filtered. As the water evaporates during boiling, the salt remains in the saucepan, solidifying into a hard block over time. This block of salt is then sold in the market, where a kilogram of crystallized salt can fetch between Shs20,000 and Shs25,000.
The income generated through salt production has enabled Ms. Katusabe to purchase land, pay school fees, and support her family. On market days in Kigorobya or Hoima Town, she can earn between Shs100,000 and Shs150,000, depending on the day’s sales.
The Kibiro Village community has harnessed the salt-rich soil near Lake Albert as a unique and sustainable means of livelihood. The process involves leaching and boiling the salty soil to extract salty water, which is then used to produce salt. The remaining soil is mixed with fresh soil for the salt production process to be repeated.
Kibiro Village is known for its naturally salty soil, attributed to the flow of salty water from the nearby Kibiro hot spring. Women in the area consider this unique soil their primary source of income. Salt production is particularly valuable during the dry season when ample sunshine is available for drying the soil. During this period, more than 100 kilograms of salt can be produced in a month. However, salt production faces disruptions during the rainy season due to frequent flooding.