Sand Mining business in Uganda: Exploring Opportunities and Challenges in the Lucrative Industry”

The sand mining process in Uganda.

Sand mining business, unregulated but very lucrative business

Sand mining is a thriving business in Uganda, particularly in urban centers where the demand for construction materials is high. Sand is a crucial component in the construction industry, used for making concrete, plastering walls, and filling foundations. However, the sand mining industry in Uganda is often informal and unregulated, with many small-scale operators engaging in the industry. This is where our main focus is going to be in this article, as it is an entrepreneurial article focusing on small businesses and startups.

Sand mining in Uganda is most common in areas like Busaabala and Lwemwedde, with the most significant activity being in Lwera, Masaka, on Lake Victoria.

However, our main focus will be on the eastern region (Busoga) of Uganda, as the areas mentioned above have high competition and require one to have a firm foundation. This may not be favorable for a new beginner, as some factors may not be in your favor. That’s where the story of Mr. Afuna Adula Shafiq, a prominent businessman mainly dealing in sand mining, comes in.

The Journey of Afuna Adula Shafiq.

With five years of experience working in sand mining and owning fifteen sand mining sites in the eastern regional areas of Busembatia and Namutumba districts, I have accumulated a lot of knowledge in this field, particularly soft sand, plaster sand, and a little about lake sand.

Sand mining poses a great opportunity for people of all ages to enter into this business due to the availability of mining sites, the limited barrier to entry, cheap labor to work in the mining field, and the readily available market, among others.

Ugandan sand mining has very few restrictions, so with adequate preparation and research, anyone can enter into the sand mining business and make money while putting a few factors into consideration. Despite the many challenges that exist in the business, such as its inflexibility in a way that its market prices in cities and towns do not go up much, yet the land we acquire to mine increases in price due to the perception of high gains, which is not particularly the case. It is still a great business worth venturing into.

Namutumba district

Namutumba District is a land located in the eastern region of the Republic of Uganda with neighboring districts such as Pallisa District in the north, Kibuku in the northeast, Butaleja District in the southeast, Bugiri District in the south, and Iganga District in the southwest. In addition to Namutumba District, Mayuge District is also a good alternative, especially for those looking for lake sand. Namutumba District is gifted with lots of white-colored plaster sand, making it a great site for first-timers. If you are in the eastern region of Uganda and looking forward to starting sand mining, you should consider visiting this district.

As the owner of fifteen sand mining sites in Namutumba District, I have been overseeing this business for over 5 years. I can tell you that it is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss. With the right mentorship and preparation, you can yield enormous profits from this business. That’s why I am here to share this knowledge with you.

Why Choose Sand Mining Business?

Sand is of great importance in Uganda given the country’s booming economy in construction and real estate business. The sand mining industry is a promising one, and here are some reasons why you should choose sand mining:

The limited barrier to entry

Sand mining is easy to venture into given the limited regulation involved, especially plaster sand mining. This presents an enormous opportunity for anyone with the right mindset and starting capital to venture into this business.

Anyone can start with little capital

This is true, as anyone with a starting capital of seven million can acquire an acre of land worth of plaster sand in the areas of Namutumba. The profits are enormous, giving you an unfair advantage against those mining in the urban areas of Uganda since the profit margin will not be the same. Starting this business is the best idea you could ever have.

Highly profitable

With a starting capital of about 7 million, one can acquire an acre worth of plaster sand, and on a good mining site, one can make 25 million provided the market conditions are favorable. In simple calculations, an acre of plaster sand bought at around 7 million can make you a profit of 18 million over 2 months or less depending on the demand for sand, especially in urban areas.

The market is readily available

Given Uganda’s expanding economy, particularly the construction and real estate business, there has been a high demand for sand, since it’s an essential raw material. This availability is providing a stable business environment for new entrepreneurs to engage in the sand mining business.

Low Risks Involved:

This is evident in the stable prices of sand, as it is not a perishable commodity, and demand is almost guaranteed. In addition, the minimal regulations in this business mean that there is little room for penalties.

Existence of Mining Sites:

This is mainly in the eastern region of Uganda, in areas like Namutumba, where there is visually abundant sand in every corner. Hence, little funding is needed for scouting the right area to establish your sand mining business.

Cheap Labor:

Labor is readily available, especially when mining in rural areas. Therefore, one just needs to open up a mining site, build a large and stable client base, and this will attract labor, hence acquiring cheap labor in the process.

However, with all the above incentives, there are still some factors to consider before engaging in the sand mining business and this will be a simple list of the most important points

Factors to Consider Before Getting into the Sand Mining Business:

  • Access to the Mining Site:

The mining site should not be too remote, as this may scare away customers. Remote areas tend to have poor road networks, which can increase transportation costs.

  • Capital:

One should have a starting capital of at least 7 million Uganda shillings since this amount can acquire an acre of plaster sand.

  • Set a Competitive Price:

You do not need to set the same price as the already established players in the market. This will provide no alternative to customers. Instead, set a competitive price that will attract customers while also making a profit.

  • Build a Goodwill:

Building a name or goodwill is one way of creating a reputation and a large market base. This can be achieved through excellent customer service, timely deliveries, and quality sand.

  • Devise the Right Methods for Determining a Sand-Rich Site:

Inaccurate sampling can lead to great losses. It is important to devise the right methods for determining a sand-rich site.

  • Market:

Have a strategic marketing plan in place. This can be achieved by providing good quality sand, mostly white in color, since it is in the most demand.

  • Experienced Labor Force:

You need to equip yourself with the right experienced labor force, as they can help in providing advice and attracting new customers.

  • Acquire the Necessary Equipment:

You need an excavator on the mining site for the first time to make the dug-out and provide a way for the vehicles to go through. However, if you are low on budget, you can do it manually with the right skilled labor.

Simple Summary of the Prices of Refined Sand in Rural and Urban Areas:

This summary will compare the price of refined sand in Namutumba district, a rural area, and Jinja city, an urban area. Generally, the price of refined sand is lower in rural areas than in urban areas. In Namutumba district, a ton of refined sand can cost around 50,000 to 70,000 Ugandan shillings. However, in Jinja city, the same quantity of sand can cost up to 120,000 Ugandan shillings. The price difference is mainly due to the cost of transportation, as it is cheaper to transport sand within rural areas than in urban areas.

 A simple table illustrating the price of sand in rural and urban basing on the type of transportation truck


Vehicle type


Maine Price







Ugx 15000



Ugx 40,000

Ugx 80,000

Mignon 6tyre/isuzu/hino


Ugx 30,000



Ugx 80,000

Ugx 280,000-300,000

10  tyre


Ugx 130,000



Ugx 450,000

Ugx 850,000

12 tyre


Ugx 180,000



Ugx 600,000

Ugx 1200,000



Ugx 400,000



Ugx 1500,000

Ugx 300,0000-3,300,000

Note; the above set prices are not conclusive as they vary according to the supplier and market conditions


The sand mining business is a rather complex one, and it continues to evolve every day. Therefore, whatever is stated in the above article is not conclusive. We encourage you to do more research before venturing into this business.

Please note that the information presented in the article is not a guarantee of success in the sand mining industry. The success of any business venture depends on various factors, including market conditions, competition, and your hard work to stay ahead of the competition.

We strongly recommend that you consult with experts and relevant authorities before making any decisions regarding the sand mining business.

if you liked this article and would like more insight on sand mining business, we  highly recommend checking out Julius Masaba’s article on the sand mining business in the central (Buganda) region of Uganda.

Thank you for reading this article, and we hope that it has provided valuable insights into the sand mining industry.


We would like to express our appreciation to Mr. Afuna Adula Shafiq, who has been in the sand mining business for over five years. His vast experience and deep insight into the topic of sand mining has enabled us to compile and present this amazing article.

Mr. Shafiq’s spirit of openness has allowed us to share this valuable information with you, and this is the main foundation of – to share different ideas.

Thank you, Mr. Shafiq, for your contribution and dedication to the sand mining industry. We are grateful for your assistance in creating this informative article.


“If you wait for the government to regulate something before you venture into it, then you are not an entrepreneur.” – a quote by Jack Ma.

This is the right time to venture into the sand mining business. Wherever you’re reading this article, remember, it’s never too late to start something new. Do the necessary research and put in the work, and you will eventually succeed.

Are we leaving out any important information? Or maybe you have something important to share with the community? Please leave a comment on or send us an email on our contact page, and we will reply in time. We promise.

Thank you.

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