Fishing boats at Kijangi landing site in Hoima district. Most of the fishing boats have been set ablaze by FPU operatives becaused they are undersized leaving several fishermen stranded .Photo by Emmanuel Okello.
fishermen in the Bunyoro sub-region are struggling to send their children back
to school following the intensified operations by the Fisheries Protection
The operation is targeting those with undersized boats, fishing nets, hooks,
and monofilament nets among others from the landing sites of Butiaba, Wanseko,
Bugoigo, and Kabolwa in Buliisa, Kijangi, Kaiso, Rwentale, Runga, and Mbegu in
Hoima, Nkondo, Sebigoro, Kyehoro, Bugoma and Kyekapere in Kikuube, Ndaiga and
Kitebere in Kagadi.
The affected fishermen have been left stranded without any economic activity
forcing many of them to vacate the lake.
Christopher Tibenda, a fisherman at the Kyehoro landing site in Kikuube
district says most parents who are fishermen are likely not to send back their
children to school since they have been hit hard by the FPU operations.
Patrick Kyaligonza, a fisherman at Kaiso landing site in Hoima says he has
failed to take his four children to school because he has no school fees. He says for the last four months, he has not
been carrying out fishing activities following the FPU operations.
Jane Atimonga, a mother of three who deals in the fish business at Nsuzu landing
site in Kikuube says currently the situation is hard for her to take her
children to school since there is no business that brings her money to pay
the government to relax the guidelines and allow fishermen to carry out fishing
so that they can get money to send children back to school.
Musa Awera, a fisherman at Butiaba landing site in Buliisa says the FPU
operation has left many fishermen impoverished and therefore can’t afford to
pay school fees for their children.
//cue in;”Nakintu kindi FPU…
Cue out:…kuba badoli hai somero.”//
Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LC V Vice-Chairperson says following the operations,
many school-going children could be left home since most parents along the
shores of Lake Albert do not have any other alternatives apart from the fishing
Fred Lukumu, the Buliisa LCV Chairperson wants the government to allow
fishermen to freely carry out fishing especially during this period when
children are going back to school to allow parents to generate school fees.
There are more than 50,000 fishermen on Lake Albert who harvest more than
100,000 tons of fish per year. Overall, fishing supports the livelihood of more
than 1.6 million people in Uganda.
and November respectively last year, the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU
impounded and destroyed 279,900 pieces of illegal fishing gear
countrywide. The destroyed fishing gear
includes boats, monofilament nets, Kokota, solar batteries, bulbs, hooks, and
immature fish among others.
The 279,900 items were confiscated and destroyed from the sectors of Kikuube,
Ntoroko, Butiaba, Hoima, Serere, Namayingo, Mukono, Rukungiri, Buvuma, Mpigi,
Kasese, Buyende, Nakasongola, Kwania, Apac, Kalangala, Jinja, and Pakwach among
other sectors where the FPU personnel operate.