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Kasese Fishermen, Traders Decry Drop in Fish Prices

Moreen Bakiryaghe, a fish monger says they are ideal out of business due to the low number of customers since the borders were closed.
A fisherman being screened at Katwe landing site

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Fish prices have dropped by more than half at Katwe landing site in Kasese district because of the ban on public transport and crossborder movement. 

Currently, a midsized tilapia fish costs between  4,000 and 6,000 Shillings down from 12,000 and 18,000 Shillings. The situation isn’t different for other fish species. Fishermen on the landing site, say the sharp drop in the fish prices has affected their capacity to buy new fishing gear or even sustain their business. 

Moreen Bakiryaghe, a fishmonger says they are ideally out of business due to the low number of customers since the borders were closed. She says they are finding a hard time to make a profit to support their families.  

//Cue in; “Corona obu yaisire… 

Cue out…emasire kukurugamu.”// 

Kayanga Kamulegeya, a fisherman told URN reporter that most of their customers are no longer coming because of transport restrictions. According to Kamulegeya, they are now at the mercy of local traders and families around the landing site who determine fish prices.  

//Cue in; Ne beeyi ye bwenyanja…   

Cue out…obulyade byatuletede obusibu.”// 

Saali Kadoma, another fisherman says sometimes they forced to feed their catch to their families due to lack of customers.

//Cue in; “Embera yacusemu… 

Cue out…enyingisa ntono nyo.”// 

Noah Thembo, another fisherman in Katwe, says some families can no longer afford food because fishing is their only source of income.

 

//Cue in; "Obude babukendezako… 

Cue out...nga embera eterede.”// 

Sulait Kasunju the Chairperson Katwe Landing Site attributes the price drop to the closure of the border, saying DRC has been a key determinant of fish prices at the landing site. He, however, says that even the local communities are buying small quantities since most of the people are at home.  

//Cue in; “Ekyusemu nawe simbi… 

Cue out…kasese egenda bwera.”//   

John Kananura, the LC III Chairperson Katwe Town Council, says the drop in the fish prices has already affected the tax base of the town council. He says they are now collecting between 30 to 45 million Shillings each month from  60 million Shillings previously.

//Cue in; “If business is…  

Cue out;…we had planned.”//  

On Tuesday afternoon, President, Yoweri Museveni extended the nationwide lockdown for 21 days to allow the country to combat the corona virus pandemic.

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