Fishermen On Lake Albert Worried As UPDF Toughens Measures On Fishing Community

The fishing community around Lake Albert is worried about their future after the new tough measures set to be effected by the military.

According to Lt Col Dick Kaija the Commander for Fisheries Protection Unit in Ntoroko district, fishermen will be required to carry licenses in order to work on the lake.

The district has many landing sites and provides employment to over 5000 fishermen. However in the new set of guidelines, only 3000 fishermen will have licenses.

The fishermen have showed great concern as well as their leaders. Friday Mugisa the Kanara sub county chairperson which is one of the affected areas said however much this was a good move, the government needed to strategize on who gets the licence and who doesn’t.

“For preservation of the lake, the measures they have put are good. However the regression measures they have put of licenses to reduce fishermen will be a huge problem. I would request the government to consider the natives of Ntoroko who have natonal IDs.” Friday Mugisa said.

Lt Col Dick Kaija said this was a social responsibility for both the government and citizens to preserve the lake.

“You are supposed to advise us and we are supposed to advise you. Tomorrow should we fail, then you yourselves have to ask yourselves if you advised us.” Kaija said.

Ntoroko District chairperson William Kasoro however said the move should only be effected once government has got an alternative for these fishermen.

“The question should be what are these fishermen going to do if we evict them from here. There would have been some measures first such that when we effect the decree, these people have what to do. These people have to be taken up into other activities and not lay idle.”William Kasoro Ntoroko district chairperson said.

Government forces have in the past clashed with fishermen on several lakes in the country while effecting different fishing guidelines. These accuse the forces of leading them to unemployment while the forces accuse them of poor fishing methods that endanger the water bodies.

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