The Fishing community on Lake Kyoga through their leaders have asked government to procure a fish processing plant that will help process fish for export, as a deliberate effort towards economic growth in the area.
According to Joseph Okojo, the Chairman LC 5 Serere, the idea is a good one as it will encourage development through the creation of jobs especially since COVID-19 has hit the areas around Lake Kyoga hard.
“I support the idea of a fish processing factory because there is need for a processing plant for fishermen. We are expecting plentiful harvests due to the improvement in fish quality after the long fishing holiday,” Joseph Okojo said. He further said that with the legal fishing methods being adopted, it would be disastrous for the fish to be ferried together with the jobs that would come with it to other regions.
The Minister of State for Fisheries, Hellen Ondoa recently announced the reopening after Lake Kyoga has been cleared of illegal fishing activities by 80% following the success recorded in operations against illegal fishing.
“The fishing holiday has helped the lake regain its glory, with adequate fish in the lake. There is plenty of poverty due to flooding from the rising water levels and drought as well, so the only activity they are waiting for is to go back to the lake which is going to save them. Officially, we are going to lift the ban because you can see poverty in the eyes of the people,” Hellen said.
Government plans to lift the fishing ban imposed on Lake Kyoga within the next few weeks as long as the fishermen are prepared to resume fishing activities with the recommended tools.
Fishing on the lake was suspended last year on the request of district leaders under Lake Kyoga integrated management organization following concerns of depleting fish species due to poor fishing methods.