Uganda: Govt Issues Guidelines for Reopening Kigungu Landing Site

The government has issued tough guidelines for reopening Kigungu Fish landing site in Entebbe that was closed two weeks ago.

The Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU)on July 14 closed off the landing site following death of a soldier attached to the unit identified as Samuel Okodoi, who was reportedly killed by fishermen at the landing site.

During the stakeholders meeting on Monday that was attended by the State Minister for Fisheries, Ms Hellen Adoa, it was resolved that all fishermen have to follow the set guidelines before they resume work at the landing site.

"As government, we have embarked on the registration and verification exercise for all fishermen and boats operating at Kigungu Landing Site. The Ministry of Fisheries has no such data specifying the number of fishermen including their respective boats. This is a prerequisite before allowing fishing activities to resume," she said.

Ms Adoa also urged the fishermen and boat owners to embrace what she termed as a simple registration and verification exercise so that they are allowed back into the lake.

The verification exercise, which started on Monday, requires each boat owner to first pay for an operational license and register the number of workers employed to operate on each boat.

"I share the challenges that fishermen are going through for these past weeks when they are not working and I also condole with FPU for losing a soldier. I strongly believe that soldiers are not our enemies. They are here to protect us from danger while on the lake," Ms Adoa said.

The minister pledged to forward all grievances raised by the fishermen to Cabinet for a sustainable solution.

She also promised to come up with programmes aimed at uplifting the fishing community.

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