More than 200 landing sites in the districts of Hoima, Buliisa and Kikuube were listed for closure by the government, for allegedly facilitating the illegal movement of people to and from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the height of a lockdown occasioned by an outbreak of Coronavirus Disease. The first phase of the process saw at least 61 landing sites closed in May.
Godfrey Komakech, the Hoima District Production and Marketing Secretary who is also a member of the verification committee told Uganda Radio Network on Wednesday that they have suspended the verification exercise because of the COVID19 pandemic.
Roselyne Mananu, a mother and resident of Fofo landing site in Hoima district says the situation is appalling. She calls on the government to intervene to the residents’ situation and provide relief food.
Last week the District Security Committee in Hoima and Kikuube districts suspended all fishing activities on the lake Albert waters, as a measure to control the spread of Corona virus disease COVID-19.
The security committee unanimously resolved that fishing on Lake Albert be suspended for 32 days, in line with a partial lockdown that was announced by Presidet Yoweri Museveni last week. The commitee observed that some Ugandan fishermen cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo and mix freely with communities on the other side, before crossing back to Uganda, which posses a risk of contracting the virus.
In Bunyoro, Chimpanzees are found around Bugoma Forest Reserve in Kikuube district and Budongo Forest Reserve in Masindi district, among other places. The animals use small forest fragments along watercourses throughout the region, both on private or communal land and in small government reserves.
John Rwemikora, a farmer in Tonya Buseruka Sub County in Hoima district, says there is reason to smile since the dams that had dried up have now been filled with water and his animals can easily access water.
Godfrey Kahiiga, a cattle farmer from Kigorobya Sub County says all the dams and wells where their animals would access drinking water have dried up forcing them to trek close to over 10km in search of water for their animals daily.
The World Bank funded project whose overall objective is to raise on-farm productivity, production, and marketable volumes of selected agricultural commodities (maize, beans, rice, cassava and coffee) will benefit the districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kiryandongo, Kakumiro, Kibaale and Masindi.
James Tusingwire, a farmer in Buswekera cell in Busiisi division Hoima Municipality wants the government to sensitize the farmers on what they should supply to the oil and gas sector or else most farmers could be left out.
While droughts are uncommon in Hoima, the length and severity of the dry conditions since September last year have strained cattle farmers. They endured dry conditions for more than five months, hand feeding their animals and forced to sell down stock as they run out of pasture and water during the prolonged dry spell.
The farmers were conned by a group disguising itself as a team from Neutral Tobacco Company, a new entity that had gone to the area to register farmers. Each of the farmers was required to pay a registration fee of 30,000 Shillings, in expectation of a startup of 500,000 Shillings from the company.
John Tumusiime, the Hoima District Commercial Officer told Uganda Radio Network on Tuesday that the three companies had financial challenges and were not able to pay farmers. He says the government has given them up to the end of January 2019 to have fully paid the farmers or else their licensees be revoked. He says unless they clear the farmers, they will not be allowed to operate in the district.