Uganda districts renew call for licensed fishing

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The 15 districts sharing Lake Kyoga have renewed calls demanding the Ugandan government to decentralise fish licensing in the area and boost local revenue.

The districts under their umbrella Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organisation (Lakimo) claim that their petition handed to the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Vincent Ssempijja, last year over the matter has not been effected.

Affected districts

The organisation comprises Nakasongola, Pallisa, Amolatar, Kamuli, Apac, Dokolo, Buyende, Kaliro, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Serere, Katakwi, Ngora, Dokolo and Kumi districts.

Mr. Kigula said although Nakasongola has more than 10 fishing landing sites, there could be more groups and individuals in the industry who should be remitting revenue to districts but are not captured.

“This is the same problem in all the member districts,” he said.

The organisation also asked government for multi-billion fish handling facilities which were not completed by the respective contractors under a World Bank-funded project.

The districts also want transport facilitation to effectively survey Lake Kyoga.

When contacted, Mr. Solomon Kalema, the senior spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture, attributed the delay in enforcing the fish licensing programme to illegal fishing, which he said has partly compromised the normal fishing activity.

When contacted, Lt Col James Nuwagaba, the commandant of FPU, declined to comment on the UPDF operations against illegal fishing on Lake Kyoga.

Earlier, district officials and the Nakasongola MPs asked government for more manpower to fight illegal fishing on Lake Kyoga.

Adama.L