Family loses property into Lake Albert, closing illegal landing sites begins

A family has lost all its property into Lake Albert when a boat capsized while relocating from an illegal landing site in Hoima District.

The family was relocating from Songagagi to Kyabarangwa fishing village in Kibiro Parish, Kigorobya Sub-county in Hoima District, according to the Kibiro Village chairman, Mr Godffrey Abigaba.

There lies a distance of about 4km between the two fishing villages.

The incident that occurred on Thursday morning saw Mr Moniki Bana lose his household items into the water after being evicted from Songagagi with his eight children, Mr Abigaba added.

The chairman added that Mr Bana had tied with ropes the boat laden with household items behind the vessel he was steering.

“He had his eight children in the boat that he was steering and it had an engine. He was using the same boat to move the boat carrying his household items behind. It capsized and the one he was steering got stuck. People traveling in four boats from Kibiro ran to their rescue,” Mr Abigaba said.

Mr Abigaba added that the items that sank included mattresses, solar panels, cooking utensils, bags, plates and batteries among others.

“The boat capsized about 1km away from Kyabarangwa fishing village, which is one of the fishing villages that have not been closed. He and his children were rescued. The boat which was carrying household items was retrieved but the items could not be seen.”

Songagagi is one of the illicit landing sites that security have closed in an operation that started on Thursday.

Mr William Kyalisiima, one of the residents at Lake Albert told this website on phone that the operation was mounted by immigration officials to prevent foreign nationals especially from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo from sneaking into Uganda and probably spreading coronavirus.

He said that the operation began on Thursday.

“The operation to close all illegal landing sites at the shores of Lake Albert has started today (Thursday) seeing all fishermen and their families relocate to other legal landing sites,” Mr Kyalisiima said.

The immigration spokesperson, Mr Jacob Simunyu recently said the internal affairs ministry had a taken a decision to close illegal fishing villages and reinforce security around the porous border points to head off possible COVID-19 cross border transmissions.

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