President Yoweri Museveni has today commissioned the distribution of recommended ‘nylon fishing nets’ on the waters of Uganda at Bukasa Island one of the major islands in Kalangala District.
The authorized fishnets consignment has 300 cartons; each with 14 pieces and half of the total consignment has 150 fishnets for tilapia and Nile Perch fish simultaneously.
The ceremony took place at Kaganda Boarding and Day Primary School, Buzingo Parish of Kyamuswa Sub-County, Kalangala district.
The President also officially opened Kaganda Boarding Primary School, a government aided facility that was constructed under the Presidential Pledge during the 2010/2011 financial year. He donated a Coaster Minibus to the school and said solar power should be installed in the school.
The school offers special educational facilities for pupils in the boarding section on the islands to enable them not travel long distances from other neighbouring islands bearing in mind life risks on water. The facility has 79 pupils in the boarding section while 332 pupils are day scholars.
President Museveni the fishing community on Buakasa Island that during the liberation war struggle, he used the lake three times to and from neighbouring Kenya.
“These safe routes on the lake prompted me to believe and realize that the government of the time had no control over the territory on Lake Victoria at the time with a population of 16,000 people only who must have lived in problems. So when we came to power, a firm decision was taken to develop and promote the socio-economic development of the area,” he said.
Regarding fishing activities, President Museveni told residents on Bukasa Island that illegal fishing and catching immature fish in Lake Victoria is a bad practice that must be prohibited adding that perpetrators must be apprehended.
“I did a research personally to root out the problem. Now I am happy to hear that since I launched a comprehensive campaign against immature fishing practices a year ago, indications are that fish is back in the Lake,” he noted.
President Museveni strongly told the residents of Bukasa island that illegal and unlicensed fishing is bad and must stop adding that over-fishing must also stop so that fish breeding areas are highly protected while legalized fishing practice should be on water levels of 28 feet deep.
“Let us regard the lake natural resource with responsibility ensuring that only regulated, licensed, authorized fishermen are the only ones operating on the lake with limited numbers of boats. Let us agree to protect and preserve the lake by scientific approach especially on fish breeding areas,” he emphasized.
Mr. Museveni announced that tax on imported fishing gadget be waved until the country can start manufacturing it’s own fishing products.
He assured the people of Kalangala District that the NRM Government will allocate two more water transport vessels to further ease water transport while Kyamuswa Health Centre 4 will be rehabilitated and equipped to handle medical operations. He also revealed that all the 84 islands that constitute Kalangala District will have Health Centre 2 medical facilities.
He said that as government plans to supply piped water the district adding that before implementation of the project, local officials should consider access for safe drinking water for Institution in the area using roof catchment method of harvesting water.The President contributed Shs.50 million to Kyamuswa Fishers’ SACCO.
State Minister for Works, Gen. Katumba Wamala assured the fishing community that the road network stretching to 145 kilometres will be rehabilitated and that 6 main landing sites will have effective means of transport.
Kalangala District woman MP, Hon. Aidah Nabayiga, said that President Museveni’s visit to Kyamuswa is a milestone that points to the development of the area. She further commended him for the development in the education, water development, electricity and fishing industry in Kalangala District.
Kyamuswa County Member of Parliament, Hon. Carolyne Birungi Nanyondo, and Kalangala District LC5 Chairman Willy Lugolobi jointly reported that the UPDF Marines Fisheries Enforcement Unit that is all out to fight against illegal fishing activities on Lake Victoria, has done a commendable work that the people of the area greatly appreciate.