Busia started as a market that served both Uganda and Kenya by some traders from Kenya in the 1920s. Busia Town was upgraded to Town Board status in July 1985 and later on it attained Town Council status in 1989 under the Decentralisation Policy by the Ugandan Government which automatically made it a Planning Area. In May 2010, Busia was elevated to Municipal status and became operational on 1st July, 2010. By 2008, Busia Town Council was occupied by 41 tribes which included among others, the Samia, Iteso, Baganda, Basoga and Bagisu. Busia being a border town that is predominantly a business town with trade in cereals and fresh foods as the major economic activity, is vulnerable to insecurity from neighbouring Kenya with a high burden of managing Refugees and communicable diseases.