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Two Month Lake Kyoga Fishing Ban Irks Amolatar Residents

In mid April, Lake Kyoga Management Organisation-LAKIMO slapped a two month ban suspending fishing activities to allow the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) coordinate the registration of fishermen and their boats.
Residents of Amolatar District are irked by the two month fishing ban on Lake Kyoga.

In mid April, Lake Kyoga Management Organisation-LAKIMO slapped a two month ban suspending fishing activities to allow the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) coordinate the registration of fishermen and their boats.

The move is aimed at regulating illegal fishing activities and conserving water bodies. Since the ban was effected, a number of local residents on Amolatar District have been seen secretly fishing.

Joseph Oringa, a resident of Namasale landing site says the ban should be lifted so allow them source for livelihood. He argued that those who have been registered should be allowed to resume fishing activities.

Tony Okila, 56 who has been fishing on Lake Kyoga for 20  years said they have no alternative source of livelihood. According to Okila, many fishermen are unable to afford the 28-seater boat which requires a motorised engine to operate. Peter Epaju, 47, a fisherman at Bangladesh landing site wants government to consider providing fishermen with recommended fishing nets. He wondered why government has slapped high costs on boat registration.

Geoffrey Ocen, a local councilor representing Muntu Sub County at the District Council also the former district Vice Chairperson says the two month fishing ban will not provide ultimate restoration of sanity on the lake.

According to Ocen instead of suspending fishing activities, government should have just provided recommended fishing nets.

Lilian Eyal, the Amolatar Resident District Commissioner confirmed receiving complaints from residents seeking to have the two month ban lifted.

RDC Eyal said they have also deployed heavily to counter the reported illegal fishing being conducted by a section of fishermen despite the ban. She urged local residents to observe the ban saying it will ensure bumper harvest of fish after the two months.

The districts under Lakimo include; Nakasongola, Pallisa, Amolatar, Kamuli, Apac, Dokolo, Buyende, Kaliro, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Serere, Katakwi, Ngora, Dokolo and Kumi.

The move comes after the Ministry of Agriculture said boat owners must have the recommended size of boats and fishing gear, Tax Identification Numbers and National Identity cards. 

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