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Serere fish farmers counting losses as water submerges ponds

Fish which was due for harvest was swept away by water.

Serere, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The rising water level in Lake Kyoga has taken a huge toll fish farmers in Serere district.

More than 30 fishponds built by government through Operation Wealth Creation, Youth Livelihood and other programs have been submerged in Kadungulu, Bugondo, Labor, Pingire and Kateta sub counties.

The affected fishponds were established near water bodies and have since been flooded by Lake Kyoga which now measures more than 1.4 meters deeper. Some of the fish joined the main water while the rest died.

Sande Ogilut, a beneficiary of fish farming under the youth livelihood project in Kadungulu says they lost 6,000 cat fish to flooding. He says the cat fish was due for harvest when it was swept away by water.

Gabriel Otiira, the Serere Assistant Chief Administrative Officer says they are compiling data on the losses incurred by the fish farmers.

He explains that while the loss was caused by a natural phenomenon, the positioning of the fish ponds is to blame.

Benna Akol, the Serere LC vice chairperson observes that the damage caused by the rising water levels in district needs special attention from government to help communities cope with the losses.

She told our reporter that there’s looming hunger in the district that has been the food basket in the region.

Almost half of the 315 villages in Serere district have been affected by the rising water levels of Lake Kyoga putting the lives of thousands of residents at stake.

More than 15,000 households have been submerged and the occupants displaced.

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