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Gov’t to rehabilitate Kagwara fish handling facility

Kagwara fish handling facility

Serere, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has unveiled plans to rehabilitate Kagwara fish handling facility. This comes after Serere district leaders criticized the poor state of the facility.

The facility constructed between 2009 and 2013 with funding from African Development Bank has been lying idle after the district leadership declined to receive it from the contractor citing shoddy works. It is in a dilapidated state after some of the structures developed cracks.

The 2.7 billion shillings facility has had some roofs blown off by the wind. It is currently being occupied by the Fisheries Protection Unit- FPU.

Dr Edward Rukunya, the director of fisheries resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries- MAAIF says that the dilapidated structure will be rehabilitated this financial year. He says the engineers have collected preliminary information to help ministry come up with bills of quantities for the work to commence in two months.

Dr Rukunya who had earlier indicated that the facility was in good shape by the time of handover, later revealed that there were delays in the procurement processes. He notes that the project was affected by inflation and changes in design after delays in the commencement of work.

The assessment by engineers shows that the facility is habitable but requires intensive clearing, roofing, walling and flooring.

Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County MP says the structure was condemned by the then State Minister for Fisheries who declined to commission the facility in 2013.

Joseph Opit Okojo, the LCV chairperson Serere, who has been very critical about the state of the facility wants officers implicated in the audit query prosecuted.

In 2017, the fishing community together with the local leaders demonstrated over the idle fish handling facility in Kagwara but no action has been taken by the government.

In March, local leaders in Serere district called for an audit into the facility following failed attempts to rectify the facility.

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