Serere, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The fish handling facility at Kagwara landing site in Serere district is falling into pieces before being put to use.
The Shillings 2.7 billion facility constructed with support from African Development Bank to fund Fisheries Development Project (FDP) in 2009 has been lying idle since the district leadership declined to receive it from the contractor citing shoddy works.
Our reporter visited Kagwara and observed that almost all the structures have developed huge cracks. The roofs of both the store and offices have been blown off by wind forcing residents to use ropes to support the other roofs.
All the window panes have broken into pieces, ceiling peeled off leaving bats to enjoy the remaining corners. Bernard Ariengu, the chairperson Kagwara Fish Protection Unit told URN that the facility has been turned into a drying rack for clothes and food by residents.
He explained that the facility has only benefited students who come for tours by providing a shade since it failed to serve its intended purpose.
Michael Olobo, the Serere district NRM chairperson who visited the landing site on Monday wants the contractor apprehended.
He notes that while government had a good will after designing the project to revitalize fishing, it has turned out to be a mockery to the fishing community in Kagwara.
In March, local leaders in Serere district called for an audit into the facility following failed attempts to rectify the facility. Joseph Opit Okojo, the Serere district LC V chairperson says many of his written complaints over the works in Kagwara have fallen on deaf ears.
Opit notes that besides substandard work, the construction wasn’t completed. In 2017, the fishing community together with local leaders demonstrated over the idle fish handling facility in Kagwara but no action has been taken by government.
URN has learnt that Mayuge and Nakasongola districts which received similar projects under the 113 billion Shillings from African Development Bank share the same fate.