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K Palm boat retrieval operation ruins fishing activities

Ongoing police and rescue activities at Lake Victoria

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fishermen at Buzindere village in Mpatta Sub County in Mukono district are concerned that the ongoing police and rescue activities in the area are affecting their businesses.

The complaint comes in the wake of operations to retrieve the wreckage of a boat that capsized over the weekend, a few meters from Mutima Beach on Lake Victoria, killing 33 people.

The boat plunged into the lake on its way to from KK Beach in Gaba to K Palm Beach in Mpatta Sub County, Mukono district, where a party had been organized for a group of merry makers. It is not yet clear how many people were aboard the ill-fated ride before it malfunctioned, although the number was estimated to be above 100 people.

Police have blocked human activity on the lake since the start of its operations on Saturday night. According to police directives, no boat, except the ones deployed as part of the ongoing operation, is allowed near the wreckage, in order to ensure that investigations are not jeopardized.

So far, all attempts to retrieve the wreckage have been futile. The government has since positioned more equipment among others an excavator and a self-loader truck fixed on tip of MV Kalangala to provide back up to the manpower on the site.

But the fishermen say that fishing is their source of livelihood and blocking their activities tantamount to condemning them to poverty. David Muwanguzi, one of the fishermen in the area said they cannot wait to see the wreckage hauled to the shore.

Another Fisherman, Joseph Kironde said the operation has rendered them redundant for five days now, yet they do not see it ending momentarily.

Our reporter also talked to David Onyango, another person who operates from the lake, and like all the others, he is crying foul.

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