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Migingo – one of the most populous islands in the world!

Migingo – one of the most populous islands in the world!

Migingo Island is situated amid Lake Victoria in Africa. Its area is only 1.8 km2 or 0.45 acres. However, the population of the island is about 131 people!


This rocky island was inhabited only in 1991 when two Kenyan fishermen Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe were brave enough to organize a colony there. The thing is that Africans who lived nearby Victoria Lake believed that the island was a house to an evil spirit. Before getting ashore the fishermen asked a local wizard to lay the spirit. Later the men confessed they had to give almost 300 kg of fish to the wizard for this ritual.

After that, about 60 more people from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania joined the two courageous men. They were determined to create a commune without injustice and evil. By 2009 the population had reached the number of 131 people and “honorable senators” Tembo and Kibebe, made a decision not to allow any more people into their community.

The inhabitants earn their living mostly by fishing. Nile perch is the main catch here. Every week a family may earn about 200-250 dollars. This is an average income that an African family from neighboring countries can get for two or three months.

It’s hard to believe, but the tiny piece of land is a disputed territory between Kenya and Uganda. This fact actually helps the commune to stay more or less independent.

During the last 20 years there were about 9 armed conflicts between the two countries because of the island. At first coast guards of both countries broke the commune’s boats, tore apart their nets and even shot dead 6 people. Then it was decided that the commune should pay special taxes to both countries.

Despite these taxes (about 50% of their income) Migingo people live much better than their neighbors. There are 5 bars, a beauty salon, a drugstore, a couple of motels and 4 brothels on the island! According to the commune rules a person from the outside cannot stay on the island for more than one day.

The founders of the commune, Tembo and Kibebe, are the honorable senators for the life term. There are also five elected senators (only men above 30). The maximum penalty on the island is an exile. During the 20 years of its existence the commune expelled 6 people for theft.

There is another island located near Migingo. Being almost thrice as large, Usingo is still uninhabited: Africans believe that another evil spirit lives there.

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32 Comments
Jordan Suriano
I think the measurement is off. Did you mean .446 acres? Because 446 acres would be about 400 football fields.
3
Oct 11, 2015 3:36PM
Eleonora Bottmann
Eleonora Bottmann
Jordan - Read carefully: "Migingo Island is situated amid Lake Victoria in Africa. Its area is only 1.8 km2 or 446 acres, this is half the size of a standard football field. However, the population of the island is about 131 people!"
1
Oct 11, 2015 9:29PM
Kristi Henson
Kristi Henson
The math US wrong. Jordan is correct.
2
Oct 11, 2015 9:38PM
DeRoy Silveous
DeRoy Silveous
1.8km squared is 444.78 acres, which equals about 19,500,000 sq feet. There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. Do the math...a football field equal 57,600 sq ft. Lake Victoria is over 26,500 square miles. Something is off stating the islands measurement is less than half of 57,600 sq ft. Jordan is correct in his statement.
0
Oct 11, 2015 9:49PM
Danny More
Danny More
WOW...But nogas.No lights.No real can..How about a shower? WOW!
2
Oct 11, 2015 9:53PM
James Murphy
James Murphy
Yes, looking at the photos does suggest the island is smaller than an acre in size! A quick Google confirms the size to be around 2000sqm or half an acre. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migingo_Island That is a high population density!
4
Oct 11, 2015 10:05PM
Michelle Archilla
Michelle Archilla
Definitely logical and proof of infinite possibilities....4th dimensional portal
2
Oct 11, 2015 10:34PM
Ian MacBrown
Not exactly what I''d call paradise... There must be sewage problem.
1
Oct 11, 2015 10:41PM
Jeanne Reyes
Jeanne Reyes
131 persons... 5 bars, a beauty salon, a drugstore, a couple of motels and 4 brothels! lmao. How is that possible? 5 bars and 4 brothels? I guess that fishing is not the only income producing on that island.
6
Oct 11, 2015 10:48PM
latvia
bunch of terrorists..lmfao.
0
Oct 11, 2015 11:22PM
latvia
Si..seguro ...The worlds oldest profession...Tu Saves Kerida....Es un trabacho.JAI JAI JAI
0
Oct 11, 2015 11:26PM
latvia
Really?????Hummmm
0
Oct 11, 2015 11:27PM
latvia
James Murphy CONGRATS on Your Scotish Wedding :O)
0
Oct 11, 2015 11:29PM
Barbara G Ramo
Barbara G Ramo
VERY INTERESTING
0
Oct 12, 2015 12:04AM
Johnny N Belle Crutcher
Johnny N Belle Crutcher
SURVIVORS.....thats all i can say....its been that way over 400 years!!!!! #facts
0
Oct 12, 2015 12:49AM

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