John Okeny, the Chairperson of Manjola Fish farmers says in 2014, the then project manager stole some vital components from the hatchery and other items worth over Shillings 20 million.
The fish hatchery in Kitgum district remains in
disrepair six years after some of its vital components were stolen.
hatchery, which belongs to Manjola fish, Piggery and Poultry project, a
community-based organization stopped producing catfish fingerlings in 2014.
The hatchery was constructed in 2010 with funding of Shillings
10 million from USAID. The fish hatchery was
erected to provide cheap fingerlings to at least 900 fish farmers from 22
groups in Kitgum, Pader and Agago districts.
John Okeny, the Chairperson of Manjola Fish
farmers says in 2014, the then project manager stole some vital components from
the hatchery and other items worth over Shillings 20 million.
“Fish farmers have been traveling up to Lira or
Kajjansi hatchery in Wakiso district to buy fish fingerlings at Shillings 500
per fingerling minus transport. If this hatchery was working, farmers would buy
them at Shillings 300 only,” Okeny said.
He revealed that the fish
farmers are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the
district to revive the project through the private-public partnership.
Alfred Omony, the Kitgum District Production Officer,
says the absence of a fish hatchery in the district has forced a number of fish
farmers to abandon the business.
//Cue in: “Fish farming…
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Omony says one needs at least Shillings 16
million to start fish farming using one pond.
Helen Aditi Lembe,
the Kitgum Municipal Production Officer notes that fish farming would have been
a profitable business since only a small portion of land is needed compared to crop
and animal production.
//Cue in: “Fish farming is…
Cue out: … local people here.”//
Alexis Ocaya, the proprietor of Inland Restaurant in Kitgum
municipality, says cat fish sold at fish ponds along River Pager costs between
Shillings 30,000 and 35,000 for fish weighing between 1-2 kilograms.
however says Nile Perch, which is most clients love isn’t available in the