The Largest Hand Dug Lake

Akayanja ka Kabaka, or Kabaka’s Lake, is a hand dug lake found in Ndeeba, Rubaga Divison, between Ring Road and Nabunya Road. It’s in the backyard of one of Buganda kingdom Kabaka’s royal palaces.

The lake was dug in 1886 on the orders of Kabaka Danieri Basammula-Ekkere Mwanga II. Kabaka Mwanga loved swimming. His idea was to dig up a water connection from Twekobe Palace in Mengo, via Kajansi and connect to Lake Victoria at Munyonyo.

 Kabaka Mwanga called on his subjects to dig the lake from Ndeeba because there were good springs in the area. The lake is not served by any tributary. It is just fed by springs and the lake’s water level has never gone down, whether in dry or wet season.

Although the water filled part is only in Ndeeba, digging had gone as far as Najjanankumbi, in Luwafu- Makindye. Digging went on for 11 months, by Kabaka’s subjects mobilized all around the kingdom.

At the end of the 11 months of digging, land had been cleared all the way up to Najjanankumbi. If you visited parts of Ndeeba, you would see some heaps of soil, which were just waiting to be hand-lifted out of the way but, a rebellion broke out. Christians opposing him revolted. The revolt brought an abrupt end to the digging.

To find out what happened next, follow our Special Series section.

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