Betty Namukwaya the Secretary for Finance, Planning and Administration says the district resolved to lower its revenue expectations after failing to meet targets in past years over restrictions on key sources of revenue and elevation of trading centers to town councils.
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.
The Kadungulu Sub County LC III Chairperson, Peter Okomol Edeu Okomol blames the accidents on corrupt law enforcement officers on the Lake, especially the Police Marines, UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit and Fishery officers whom he claims often impound small boats and return them to fishermen after pocketing bribes.
Bernard Ariangu, the Chairperson of Fisheries Protection Unit- FPU at Kagwara Landing site, explains that they have not been able to take the temperature of any person since they received the temperature gun.
Before the lake is reopened for fishing, the unit has announced that only boats with the interior overall length of 28 feet will be registered as recommended by the fish act. But fishermen and their leaders are protesting the guideline which they say, does not apply to Lake Kyoga, on the basis of its water levels and cost of acquisition.
Lieutenant Colonel Benon Namanya the commander of Fisheries Protection Unit at Lake Kyoga says that to date 73 vehicles and 25 motorcycles were returned to rightful owners while 41 vehicles and 109 motorcycles are unclaimed.
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.
“When soldiers came here, my husband ran away and has never returned. He was scared because we were told that those men are ruthless. I sold part of my cassava to buy wheat flour and other ingredients for making mandazi. That is how I’m trying to help these children but a majority of people don’t have money to enable this business thrive”, she said.
In mid April, Lake Kyoga Management Organisation-LAKIMO slapped a two month ban suspending fishing activities to allow the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) coordinate the registration of fishermen and their boats.