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‘Help us protect lakes’ – President tells fishing communities

Fishing Communities

President Yoweri Museveni urged elders in the fishing communities of Uganda to take a leading role in protecting the lakes from overfishing and the catching of immature fish because it has led to the depletion of stock and pledged to deploy the army to support them.

“Lake Victoria is here but it’s a dead lake because it has no fish. You need to help us to protect these lakes and we revamp them for the future of the country’s fishing industry. Borrow lessons from the cattle keepers who never eat female calves because they are the future of their herds as they are the ones that will produce and multiply the cattle stock” he said.

The President said that because the indigenous fishing communities had failed to protect the lakes; The Fisheries Ministry resorted to deploying of fisheries protection officers who have worsened the situation by engaging in mass corruption and extortion of fishermen and traders. He appealed to communities that live near the lakes and the water bodies in the country to do away with the negative vices of overfishing and fishing of premature fish which he said pose a great danger to the fishing industry in the country.

The President was addressing a public rally on Sunday at Masafu Sub-County grounds, Buwanda Village in Busia district to promote the Operation Wealth Creation campaign. The campaign is aimed at ensuring that each household engages in enterprises for food security and income generation to fight poverty. Het announced that government plans to gazette Busia as an export promotion zone and said that many industries will be put up in the border district to promote industrial trade. He warned however, that the border town known for its fish trade on Lake Victoria has been affected by overfishing and the catching of immature fish which is economically bad for business.

The President said that government will continue to work on service delivery but urged the population to engage in modern agro production to fight poverty. “Recent research has shown that 83% of families in Busia district are engaged in subsistence agriculture while only 17% are in commercial agriculture. How do you expect to get rid of poverty in the district,” he said.

He cautioned the people against land fragmentation which he said was dangerous for the future of the agricultural sector and warned that with continued fragmentation of land will result into irreversible poverty in Uganda which is largely an agricultural economy.

On health the President said that government had done well in the immunization of children that has seen the country experience rapid population growth under the NRM regime from 14 million in 1986 to 35 million people today. He however said that the population needs to exercise quality hygiene and nutrition to avoid contracting some disease. He also warned them against living reckless life styles such as promiscuity, drug abuse and alcoholism that he said were dangerous for their lives.

He further announced that government will tarmac Torooro-Busia road and Musiita-Majanji road and that more roads will be tarmacked as the government has prioritized and allocated sufficient funds to the road sector. He urged movement supporters to understand the importance of prioritization in the implementation of government programs as all programs can’t be implemented at the same time. “We are now working on several roads with our locally generated revenue and we shall do more but we have to prioritize because if we tackle many programs at the same time we will make no impact and deliver nothing. That Prioritization approach helped us in the bush as we used limited resources but registered many victories,” he said.

On security the President said that the country is peaceful because the National Resistance Movement built a strong army with a national character which is pro-people. He said that the UPDF, unlike the past national armies, was not built on sectarian grounds of either tribes or religion which is the reason the army is strong.

“We had problems in 1960’s because leaders were focused on tribal and religious sectarianism. You leave a good soldier and go for a bad soldier because you are looking for your tribe’s man and you can’t build strong force on those lines” he noted.


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