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FPU Donates Life Jackets to Fishing Communities in Jinja city :: Uganda Radionetwork
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FPU Donates Life Jackets to Fishing Communities in Jinja city

The official handover took place at Masese landing site on Monday, where Southern Division Mayor Nasser Ashiraf received the donation during an engagement with UPDF officers.
UPDF officers from the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU have donated life jackets to fishermen in Jinja city.
The Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) under the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) has donated 100 life jackets to fishermen in Jinja city, with a total value of 20 Million Shillings. These life jackets will be distributed among 100 fishermen across 10 landing sites in Jinja city. 

The official handover took place at the Masese landing site on Monday, where Southern Division Mayor Nasser Ashiraf received the donation during an engagement with UPDF officers. Nasser commended the UPDF for adopting a cooperative approach in addressing the operational challenges faced by fishermen, contrasting it with confrontational strategies that are sometimes politicized by self-seeking individuals, especially during campaigns within fishing communities. 

Arnold Nsimbi, a fisherman at the Wairaka landing site, emphasized the importance of life jackets in their daily operations. He noted that financial constraints often hindered many fishermen from affording these crucial safety gear. According to Nsimbi, the timing of this donation is significant, as Lake Victoria currently experiences rough waves and storms. Life jackets become indispensable in ensuring the safety of fishermen during their duties.

Rodgers Bazanya stressed that life jackets are essential for all lake users nationwide. He acknowledged the UPDF's donation as a wake-up call for fishermen to prioritize safety over financial considerations. However, Bazanya raised concerns about counterfeit life jackets flooding the market, urging responsible government agencies to tackle this issue to prevent fishermen from drowning due to substandard safety gear. 

Philemon Kudera, the coordinator of security and rescue operations across Eastern Lake Victoria, highlighted the challenge of fishermen not adhering to standard safety measures. Kudera proposed imposing heavy fines on individuals without life jackets, believing it would enhance compliance and safeguard fishermen's lives. 

Lt. Lauben Ndifula, the FPU spokesperson, explained that their donation aims to remind lake users about the importance of safety while executing their duties. Ndifula emphasized that, despite being known for operational approaches, the FPU is committed to dialogue with fishermen and utilizing their limited resources to address prevailing safety challenges, particularly the lack of life jackets.