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Government Lifts Ban on Fishing Activities in Lake Kyoga

By Benjamin Epeduno

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Government has resolved to lift the ban on fishing activities in Lake Kyoga on 1st July, 2020, after one year of suspension.

Hellen Adoa, the State Minster for Fisheries has disclosed to Aica that the ban would have been lifted on 31st December, 2019 but it was halted due to the continuous illegal fishing activities in the Lake despite ongoing army operations.

Government ordered for the closure of the lakes after several fishing communities were involved in the detrimental habits of catching premature fish, which was leading to the extinction of fish species.

Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organization [LAKIMO] comprising representatives from the 15 districts sharing Lake Kyoga waters had also recommended to the Government to clean up the lake.

Fishing activities on Lake Kyoga were then suspended in April, 2019 to allow the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) Fisheries Protection Unit to carry out the operations to clean-up the lake.

The same army later registered fishermen to enable them acquire standard boats and fishing gears.

The Minister further explains that the planned lifting of the ban follows the submergence of crops in some of the 15 districts sharing Lake Kyoga, coupled with the COVID-19 lock-down which has crippled the livelihoods of the fishing communities, and it is believed that the fish has matured.

The boats to start operating in Lake Kyoga will have different colors and number plates depending on the landing site, so as to reduce fishermen from clashing because of boundaries.

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