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Floods submerge UGX 800M fish handling facility

The submerged fish handling facility at Kaiso landing site.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

Hoima, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Floods have submerged Kaiso fish handling Facility at Kaiso landing site on Lake Albert shores in Buseruka Sub County in Hoima district. Kaiso fish handling Facility was constructed by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries in 2012 at the cost of Shillings 800million with funding from Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA).

It was aimed at boosting proper fish handling by fishermen, improve the quality and standards of fish processed and sold to other parts of the country.  The facility comprises a store for fish, inspection facilities, open shade for parking bags of silver fish, drying rack for processing silver fish and water borne toilet.

During the Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo, the facility was used as a screening center for people crossing into the country. It is also currently used as a screening Center for COVID-19.

However, the fish handling facility was submerged by floods early this week owing to the rising water in Lake Albert grounding all activities to a halt.  Fred Mujuni, the Chairperson Kaiso Fishing Community, says the flooding of the facility is a big setback to fishermen.

Betty Bagadira, a fish monger says the flooding of the facility will comprise the quality of fish processed by fishermen since they no longer have any other place to preserve their fish.       

Joseph Balikenda also a fisherman says the sanitation at the facility has totally deteriorated after because the only public toilet there is equally affected.   

Geoffrey Kumakech, the Hoima district Production and Natural Resources Secretary calls upon government to immediately intervene, saying the facility has been important to over 12,000 people at Kaiso fishing village.

John Owonda, another fisherman, says the destruction caused on the fish handling facility by floods is regrettable since it will greatly affect the standard and quality of fish. 

Henry Irumba, the Kaiso LC 1 Chairperson says the facility was also working as a market for fish mongers from different parts of the country.

James Mwesigwa, the Hoima District Fisheries Officer-DFO, says it is a big loss to both the fishing community and the district.

He says the situation will affect the quality and safety of fish being processed and transported to markets in various parts of the country for consumption.

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