Serere, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has flagged off 1,970 boats to resume fishing operations in Lake Kyoga.
In January, government deployed the Fisheries Protection Unit- FPU in Kagwara Landing Site in Serere district rendering thousands of people who derived their livelihood on the lake vulnerable.
A total of 1,460 illegal boats and 867 monofilament nets have been destroyed in Serere since FPU commenced operations. The unit also impounded more than 40 motorcycles.
Serere district has so far managed to construct 450 boats, Buyende 530, Amolatar 420, Kaberamaido, Kalaki and Soroti 70 boats, Kayunga 120, Namasale 280 and Apac, Kwania and Dokolo districts have constructed only 100 boats.
The State Minister for Fisheries, Helen Adoa, while flagging off the boats, said that Lake Kyoga was cleared for 11,000 boats but there was delay in the construction works.
She says that other areas like Kalaki and Kaberamaido will resume fishing as soon as they are ready with the recommended boats and fishing gears.
“Fishing will resume in areas where fishermen have acquired the recommended fishing gears and boats. We shall continue with the operations to ensure that no illegalities are found in the lake”, she said.
Kokas Okiror, one of the registered fishermen at Ajuba landing site, says he is relieved that government has finally heeded to their calls. “It’s not been easy for us. We were the most hit after the outbreak of COVID-19”, he said.
The lift on fishing in Lake Kyoga comes at a time many fishermen have been stealthy conducting fishing in the lake. Nakasongola, Amolatar and other districts under Lake Kyoga belt have taken more than a year under suspension.