Fishermen evicted from Lake Albert landing sites advised to resort to agriculture

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Some families of fishermen evicted from some landing sites of Lake Albert being accommodated in Kyabarangwa Full Gospel Church at Kyabarangwa landing site in Kibiro fishing Village, Kigorobya Sub-county in Hoima District. Credit: John Kibego

The Minister for Bunyoro Affairs, Mr Ernest Kiiza, has advised fishermen who were recently evicted from illegal landing sites at Lake Albert in Bunyoro sub-region to resort to commercial gardening to sustain their livelihood.

Speaking to our reporter, Mr Kiiza advises that instead of the fishermen crying over the loss of livelihood, they should instead change their lifestyle, acquire land and practice commercial agriculture other than depending on fishing only for their entire life.

Government listed more than 200 landing sites in Hoima, Buliisa and Kikuube districts for closure for allegedly facilitating illegal movement of people to and from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the height of a lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of coronavirus.

The first phase of the process saw at least 61 landing sites closed in May.

These include among others; Songagagi, Mpetye, Kyamwaana and Bikunyu among others in Hoima district.

The government of Uganda says some Ugandan fishermen cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they mix freely with the local communities there exposing them to infection.

But several fishermen have decried the loss of their livelihood since the eviction and closure of the landing sites.

Many are still stranded with nowhere to go because they had established permanent homes at the landing sites.

To date, some of them are still being accommodated in churches and in their relative’s homes while others are sleeping under trees in the cold night.

The government of Uganda announced the suspension of fishing activities on Lake Albert in April 2020, in line with the nationwide lockdown announced by President Yoweri Museveni as a measure to control person to person interactions and close possible loopholes in the management of Covid-19.

According to the government, some Ugandan fishermen cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they mix freely with the local communities there exposing them to infection.

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