10 May 2013

Uganda: Museveni Endorses Ban On Fishing

President Yoweri Museveni has endorsed a proposal by Mukono district leaders to impose a fishing ban in the area between July and October every year with a target of ensuring sustainable mature fish.

He also supported the ban on the import of illegal fishing gear which has contributed to the vice of catching premature fish.

The President was meeting a delegation of local leaders from Mukono district led by the LCV chairman Francis Lukooya at Entebbe State House. The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Youth Affairs, Ronald Kibuule and the Commander of the Land Forces Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala.

Statistics from the Department of Fisheries Resources (DFR) show that after increasing from 1,664 tonnes valued at $1.4m in 1990, to 36,615 tonnes valued at $143.6m in 2005, fish exports to overseas markets dropped to 16,480 tonnes, worth $89.1m by 2011.

In addition, informal regional trade in fish, which had increased from $38.4m in 2005, to a peak of $56.4m in 2007, decreased to $27.1m in 2011. Informal fish exports also decreased drastically from 30,712 metric tonnes (Mt) in 2005 to 10,498Mt in 2010.

Returns from fish revenue also dropped from $38.4m to $27.1m between 2005 and 2011. Illegal fishing and catching of immature fish have been a particular concern to the President.

Musevebi commended Mukono District leaders for their role in promoting industrialization in the country and urged them to enable investors to establish more industries.

"You have seen the progress which can be ushered in the country through industrialization. Lets continue with the spirit of enabling investors to establish more industries," he said. He called on them to assist the Bibanja holders in their struggle to secure their ownership and land tenure.

The President said that NAADS will be transformed adding that it will only remain with a small team of secretariat staff at the headquarters. He said that the rest of the staff will be laid off. He added that the Government would retain extension workers at the grassroots to enable the agricultural sector perform better. He revealed that the funds from the NAADS budget would be converted into loans to enable farmers boost the agro sector.

He reiterated government's Health policy of having a medical team of 49 medical officers at the health Centre 4s and 19 officers at the Health Centre 3s, adding that the NRM government is ready to guarantee a specialized hospital in Mukono District and save the country foreign medical expenses.

He commended the delegation over the proposal to establish Palm tree plantations on Koome island and for their plans to expand coffee production in Mukono.

Museveni said that Government would construct the Nakadindiri bridge which links Luwero with Mukono District and the construction of Ntuda bridge.

The Mokono District LC 5 Chairman, Francis Lukooya said that they are ready to work with the President towards solving matters affecting service delivery in the District. He saluted President Museveni for enabling the construction of Bujagali Hydro power station and for extending electricity in the area.

He revealed that this has resulted into the expansion of the industrial sector adding that it enabled 7,022 local people to get employment.

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