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Unregulated Sand Mining Threatening Fish Breeding Areas in Mayuge, Jinja :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Unregulated Sand Mining Threatening Fish Breeding Areas in Mayuge, Jinja

A local government official in Mayuge told URN that the unregulated sand mining has led to the widening of the lake shores.
Part of the sand mine located along Bwondha landing site in Mayuge district.

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Following the ban on illegal fishing in Lake Victoria, several fishermen in Jinja and Mayuge districts have resorted to sand mining to fend for their families. From as early as 8:00 am each day, several trucks ferry sand from Namoni and Bwondha landing site in Mayuge district and Masese in Jinja city.

The miners, who are operating without authorisation from the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA licenses have set up illegal landing sites at the different parts of the lake, just a few meters away from the regulated landing sites.  Their activities are interfering with fish breeding areas along the shoreline thereby affecting fish stocks in the lake.  

A local government official in Mayuge told URN that the unregulated sand mining has led to the widening of the lake shores. “The lake has expanded its’ banks as most illegal sand mining activities have weakened the soil holding particles on the shoreline forcing it to spread out to the surrounding communities. In a period of just two years, lake Victoria shoreline in the areas of Bwondha has progressed 300 meters above the shoreline since miners have refused to stop,” he said.

Samuel Mudumba, a fisherman at Namoni landing site in Mayuge district, says that most of the illegal sand miners have invisible support from politicians. “We have made several complaints and held several meetings with different stakeholders and local authorities. But our pleas have always landed on deaf ears as law enforcement officers claim that tampering with the illegal sand miners threatens their jobs,” he said.

Gerald Muwanguzi, a miner from Bwondha landing site says that he is aware that sand mining is illegal but it is his only means of survival since he is unable to purchase the required fishing gears. 

//Cue in: “bwebabinga…   

Cue out…batya,”//

Mathias Kabagambe, another miner at Masese landing site says that sand mining is a lucrative business, which has enabled youths to sustain their lives without engaging in criminal activities.

//Cue in: “obuzibu… 

 

Cue out…ekyo’kulya,”//  

Moses Maganda, the Jinja District Natural Resources Officer says that illegal sand mining threatens the quality of quality and fish breeding areas. He however, says that they have sensitised the sand miners and advised them to seek guidance from NEMA who have the necessary information on the less risky sand mining areas but many haven’t heeded their advice.

He says the illegal sand miners are behind the recent incidents of flooding across different fishing communities because they have tampered with wetlands around the lake.

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