Stephen Ochola, the Serere District LC V Chairperson says that Abola dam, which has 37 acres of land was a major economic driver in the area before it was silted. Ochola notes that the district has other dams with similar capacities that have been affected by silting.
James Erongu, a resident of Kadungulu Sub County says that the Police take every opportunity to extort money from unsuspecting community members. He, however, says that when it comes to illegal fishing practices, both the Police and army are extorting money from the culprits.
James Elocu, one of the survivors told our reporter in a phone interview that they entered the lake around 6:00pm when there were no signs of bad weather. He explains that as soon as they started fishing, heavy rains accompanied by a storm started forcing them to seek refuge from the moving island.
Okello explains that whereas Kagwara works await approval from Uganda National Roads Authority- UNRA to move to another level, the contractor is mobilizing resources to commence works at Bukungu and later, Akampala landing sites.
David Ongom Mudong, the East Kyoga Region Police Spokesman, says the contractor has been charged with sabotaging government program vide SD Reference 35/07/08/2020 of CPS Serere. He says police are conducting inquiries into the matter.
63-year-old Paul Opio cut down his orchard in Opucet Village, which has been earning him at least Shillings 10 million annually after realizing huge losses. Opio started planting oranges in 2009 and has since diversified to other crops like water melons, tomatoes and bananas among others.
Penninah Atweo, a resident of Agologolo Village in Bugondo Sub County says the condition of the road has affected their livelihoods as costs of transport have more than doubled. Atweo, who sells vegetables says that she spends 16,000 shillings on the transport alone instead of 4,000 she used to pay before the roads were submerged.
Dr Edward Rukunya, the Director of Fisheries Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries- MAAIF says that the dilapidated structure will be rehabilitated this financial year.
The suspension of Fishing activities rendered thousands of households vulnerable because many of them solely depended on the lake for their livelihood. Many people, who had never been to their homes for long, had to relocate from landing sites that had become part of their lives.
"I have just received information that two fishermen had seized the opportunity of Fisheries Protection Unit busy schedule to conduct illegal fishing. Unfortunately, one has died and the other saved by residents in Mugama. This act of sneaking into the lake must stop because many people have lost lives in the process", she said.
Simon Okwi, the Parish Councilor for Kagwara says his voters were told to form an association in order to be considered by NFA, a development he notes enabled them to plant trees. He notes that the team was surprised when NFA came in to mark and split the forest into blocks without considering the locals.
Simon Okwi, the Parish Councilor of Kagwara says the situation of the fishing community has been worsened by the COVID-19 lock down. He notes that some families have split, leaving children to fend for themselves.
John Peter Aseun, the Chairperson of the Fish Protection Unit in Ajuba, says much as they have mobilised people to register r as boat owners, fishmongers and fishermen, a good number is unable to meet the demands of the new fishing regulations due to financial constraints and lack of National Identity Cards.