Mugumya further explains that MAAIF engaged a consultant three years ago to conduct a feasibility study on the lake. Mugumya says that the consultant visited the district and conducted the study but he has never returned since and the ministry of agriculture has never given them feedback about the proposed restocking of the lake.
The proposed restocking of Lake Kijjanebarola with Tilapia to boost fish production in Rakai district has stalled for nine years. In 2013,
President, Yoweri Museveni directed the Ministry of Agriculture,
Animal, Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) to
improve the people’s livelihoods through fishing sector.
This stemmed from concerns
by the fishermen and district authorities over the declining fish stock in the lake. They attributed the problem to overfishing due to the
increasing number of fishermen on the lake, the use of destructive fishing
gears as well as encroachment on ecosystems. L. Kijjanebarola harbors fish
species including silver cyprinid locally known as Mukene, haplochromines
(Nkejje), Eels (Ensonzi), African lungfish, and tilapia.
The district fisheries officials and Kooki cultural
institution, say that they have tried following up on the proposed restocking of the lake in
vain. John Mugumya, the Fisheries Officer in charge of the Kooki
constituency, says that they
want the presidential directive fulfilled since the lake contributes to the
He says that they
wanted to restock Tilapia
because it is one of the endangered fish species in the lake, which has a high demand. Mugumya further
explains that MAAIF engaged a consultant three years ago to conduct a feasibility study on the lake. Mugumya says that the consultant visited the district and
conducted the study but he has never returned since and the ministry of
agriculture has never given them feedback about the proposed restocking of the lake.
//Cue in: “Plan
Cue out: ………ku ministry.”//
Hadad Mulindwa, the Kooki Minister of Agriculture, says the
lake is significant in Kooki since it is a source of livelihood. He noted that they have contacted MAAIF
several times for feedback in vain. Jonathan Mugumya, a fisherman at
Kalunga landing site in Kyalurangira sub-county, says that scores of young and
mature fish died when part of L. Kijjanebarola disappeared on May 12, 2021, hence the decline
in the fish population.
Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, the Acting Director of Fisheries
Resources Management- MAAIF, says she has no details about the project. She has promised to consult on the matter. She
has advised Rakai fisheries officials to write to the Permanent Secretary
-MAAIF expressing the concern for redress.
According to the Uganda
Investment Authority (UIA), the Fisheries sector remains the second highest
foreign exchange earner for Uganda and the investment in the sector is
estimated at over 714 billion shillings with the employment of over 700,000