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Registration of Fishermen on Lake Kwania Suspended

Recently, Kwania District authorities invited the commanders of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit to discuss mechanism of conducting the registration exercise. The move which was aimed at regulating illegal fishing activities and conserving Uganda’s water bodies has reportedly been objected by the Fishery Protection Unit.

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Registration of fishermen on landing sites around Lake Kwania has been suspended because of the tension between Kwani District authorities and the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit. Early this month, the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry directed all boat owners operating on Lake Kwania and Lake Kyoga to register their boats. 

However, the move that is aimed at regulating illegal fishing activities and conserving Uganda’s water bodies, has reportedly met objection from the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit. Recently, Kwania District authorities invited the commanders of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit to discuss mechanism of conducting the registration exercise.    

However, none of them showed up. Wilfred Mega, the Kwania District Fisheries Officer says they have now resolved with the office of the CAO to alert the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to harmonize their position with the UPDF Enforcement.

“When we were given that letter, we invited all stakeholders for a meeting to discuss how to implement the directive but the UPDF commander refused to attend the meeting. He didn’t give us the reason for not attending. He simply said he will not attend and he didn’t attend,” Mega said.  

“So now we have resolved with the CAO to contact the people at the ministry to harmonize their position from there so that they can send us a new letter so that the registration can take place because as of now, registration has not taken place,” he added.  

The Ministry had scheduled the 31st March, 2020 as the deadline to end the Country wide registration of the fishermen and boat operators. Meanwhile in Amolatar District, the Namusale Sub County Rembo Ongu, LC 3 Chairperson, says the soldiers have stopped torturing civilians found in possession of fish and instead confiscate their fish.

He says the soldiers are impounding motorcycles transporting fish. The fishermen are being fined between Shillings 400,000 and 500,000 to recover their motorcycles. Ongu says the registration of fishermen is long overdue and calls for the immediate intervention of the president on the same.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “Kara dang dong…

Cue out: … amano, lak abic.”//

Lt. Col. Moses Nuwagaba, the Commandant of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit declined to comment on the matter. Early this month, Pius Wakabi Kasaja, the Agriculture, Fishery and Animal Industry Ministry Permanent Secretary under directed all Resident District Commissioners and Fishery Officers along Lake Kwania and Lake Kyoga to register boat owners, fish mongers, fishermen, dealers and fish processors

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