Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has re-opened the Mpondwe border fish market in Lhubiriha town council, Kasese district.
Last year, government suspended cross-border business and border markets as part of the Covid-19 preventive measures.
The State Minister for Fisheries Hellen Adoa, who officiated at the re-opening of the market said that the government was aware that many families and local governments were depending on the markets as a source of livelihood and revenue.
However, she added that traders must strictly adhere to standard operating procedures, or else the government may be forced to suspend those that are not complying.
Adoa also asked the UPDF fisheries unit to intensify operations against illegal fishing activities and bring to book whoever is implicated. She says that most illegal fishermen are wealthy individuals who use their influence to engage in illegal fishing practices.
Though the traders welcomed the reopening, they are demanding full re-opening of the border.
Brian Bwambale, a fish dealer says businesses in Mpondwe are heavily dependent on the Congolese who purchase in bulk. He adds that the cross-border Covid-19 restrictions including the mandatory Covid-19 testing and the high cost of visas will limit the number of Congolese who are coming into the country to buy fish.
Fatima Abdallah is worried that if the border is not fully reopen, they will keep out of business since there is little demand from the local population.
Eliphazi Muhindi, the Kasese LCV chairperson says the market generates revenue for the district, adding that they have registered the lowest revenue collections in the last two years.