Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders in districts sharing Lake Kyoga have resolved to extend the ban on fishing activities until December to allow the Uganda People Defense Forces Fisheries Protection Unit to fight illegal fishing activities and restore fish stock.
The fish ban has been in existence since April when leaders had resolved to impose it for only two months.
Sam Kigula the LC 5 Chairperson of Nakasongola says that the extension of the ban came after a review meeting held recently under Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organization at Amolator headquarters where they found out that illegal fishing was still prevalent.
Kigula who is also chairperson of Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organization (umbrella organization for all districts sharing the lake) explains that they also found out some local leaders had not supported the operations something had led for illegal fishing activities to prevail.
Kigula adds that they have resolved to support UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit to conduct operations against illegal fishing till December this year to ensure enough fish stock is restored.
Kigula, however, says that they resolved that no more use of brutal force against fishermen and periodic meetings to be held to review the compliance.
The Leaders also resolved that before the ban is lifted all fishermen operating on Lake will be registered and permits issued only those that will meet the stipulated guidelines.
The leaders were from Nakasongola, Pallisa, Amolatar, Kamuli, Apac, Dokolo, Buyende, Kayunga, Kaliro, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Serere, Katakwi, Ngora, Dokolo and Kumi districts that are united under Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organization.
George William Lubega the LCIII Chairperson of Lwampanga sub-county says that they have embarked on mobilizing fishermen to surrender illegal fishnets and give chances for fish to mature so that by December the ban is lifted.
But Mariam Nabutaka the District Councillor for Lwampanga Sub County says that although fishermen stopped engaging in illegal fishing, there are still be tortured by Fisheries Protection Unit.
Other fishermen led by Christopher Bagonza also decried the effect of the ban.
Bagonza explains this was the major lifeline economic activity but after the ban, many are now employed and some have resorted to illegal activities for survival.
Lt Col James Nuwagaba the Commander of UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit declined to comment and asked the reporter to drop the story saying journalists should stop investigating issues that don’t concern them.