Fishermen living around Lake George on Nyakera landing site in
Bukurungo town council, Kitagwenda district, have decried an illegal landing site
engaged in illegal fishing activities.
There are three legal landing sites namely Mahyoro, Bukurungo and
Nyakera. However, fishermen are using an isolated site along River Mpanga,
which pours its water into Lake George and a fish breeding site for the same
lake, and created an illegal landing site there.
In 2015, President Museveni deployed Uganda People’s Defense Forces - UPDF
Marines to fight illegal fishing on all lakes in the country.
In June, while commissioning a multimillion fish handling facility at Mahyoro
landing site in Mahyoro town council Kitagwenda district, Hellen Adoa, the
State Minister for Fisheries, warned fishermen against illegal fishing
practices which promote catching of immature fish.
But all these efforts to prevent illegal fishing seem to have gone to waste.
Patrick Ngiragizi one of the fishermen at Nyakera Landing Site says that
the fishermen could have taken an advantage of loopholes in the security around
the lake to engage in the illegal activity.
Ngiragizi calls upon the marine forces to up their game and stops illegal
fishing that he says is leading to depletion of fish in the lake since they are
operating at the breeding site.
//Cue in: “Nkonka obuzibu haburigire…
Cue out… ama piki gizwire.”//
Didas Katale, also a fisherman and a resident of Bukurungo Bukurungo town council
say that he has seen several fishermen at the illegal point selling the
immature fish but efforts to involve the leaders have never yielded
//Cue in: “Guroho amaato amake…
Cue out…tiharoho ekikukolebwaho.”//
When URN reporter went to the illegal landing site, there were visible signs
that the spot is being in operation as it was properly cleared. However, no
boats or fishermen were found there.
Residents say the fishing is at times done
at night and the illegal fishermen are hostile.
Also, there were no signs that the place is being manned by any
security personnel be it the marine forces.
Godfrey Lubega, the Chairperson of Nyakera landing site says he is unaware of
illegal fishing in the area but promises to follow up the matter.