The New Times (Kigali)

22 March 2014

Rwanda: Nelsap to Grow 9 Million Fish in L. Cyohoha

The Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELASAP), in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, plans to grow at least nine million Tilapia fish in Lake Chyohoha in Bugesera District. The move is aimed at promoting fishing in the country.

While addressing local leaders in the Eastern Province yesterday, Francoise Kayigamba, NELSAP Environmental Advisor, said Lake Chyohoha had suffered from over fishing, adding that there was urgent need to restock it with more fish.

"We need to add more fish in the lake. The tilapia type is the most suitable. We shall import the fish and monitor the farming process," she said.

Fish farmers in the district were advised to form cooperatives to help improve their activities. The call follows reports of haphazard fishing on the lake.

Kayigamba further noted that there was need to revamp the whole fishing sector so as to make it more profitable.

"Government's intervention is timely. Fishing must be done in a more scientific way. We shall thus address the issues of storage, refrigeration and processing to ensure quality," Kayigamba said.

She also noted that the lake was affected by water hyacinth that needed to be checked.

"We need a holistic approach to solve the problem of the water hyacinth," she said.

The weed is a free-floating perennial aquatic plant that moves seasonally with the waves from bay to bay blocking water-ways and affecting aquatic life by sucking oxygen from the water.

Louis Rwagaju, the Mayor of Bugesera District, reiterated the need to fight the weed, saying it threatened water bodies.

"Lake Chyoha, Rweru among other lakes are sources of food, and drinking and irrigation water and a means of transport for many. It would be dangerous if we allowed the weed to suffocate our waters," he said.

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