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Fishermen Protest Suspension of Fishing Activities on Lake Albert

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.
Fishing boats parked at Kijangi landing site in Hoima district.

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Fishermen operating from Lake Albert are protesting the suspension of fishing activities. The decision to stop all fishing activities was taken by the District Security Committee in Hoima and Kikuube districts early in the week, as a measure to control the spread of Coronavirus 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.  

Now fishermen operating on Lake Albert say that the decision was not well though out, because for them, the lake is their sole source of livelihood. They are demanding that the authorities revise the conditions of the ban, to  limit all activities to day time.

David Kasangaki, a fisherman at Kijangi landing site in Hoima district says suspending fishing activities automatically throws them out of employment, into poverty. He wants fishing activities to only be suspended at  night. 

//cue in;” Atleast they abandon…

Cue out:…What to eat.”//

URN visited most landing sites on the shores of lake Albert and discovered that many fishermen had halted their operations given the heavy deployment of Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers and other sister security agencies effecting the van on suspension of fishing activities on the lake.  

Jena Ndaura, another fisherman says fishing should go on but under strict supervision of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces.

Runyoro//cue in;”Kyokuhakana kusoha tiki…

Cue out:…Nko nibe yenda.”//  

Richard Okello, a fisherman at Kyehoro landing site in Kikuube district says that suspending fishing could lead to an escalation of crime rates.

Alur //cue in;”Kajufungo nam tap…

Cue out:...Abic Gidwogo abic.”//  

Stephen Muzubi, a fisherman at Butiaba landing site in Buliisa district says that if fishing is to be completely suspended, the government should ensure that food is freely donated to the fishermen who have no alternative sources of income.

Lugungu //cue in;”Gya ha bwange…

Cue out:…Ku herera bana.”//  

Hoima Resident District Commissioner Samuel Kisembo who is also caretaking Kikuube district says they have liaised with their counterparts of Kagadi, Pakwach, Nebbi, Buliisa and Ntoroko to ensure that the guideline is strictly effected.

Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya County Member of parliament says restricting the fishermen from fishing will greatly hamper their livelihood. He too demands that fishing should be suspended  only during night hours.     

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