By Basigjalha Zalimon
Fishermen at Katwe- Kiganda Fish landing site on Lake Edward in Kasese District have appealed to the government to create a separate Ministry of Fisheries that will be responsible for handling issues affecting them.
Currently, the fishing sector is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries headed by Frank Tumwebaze.
Henry Mowa Byabanemu, a fisherman at Kiganda Fish Landing site in Katwe –Kabatooro Town Council says since the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries was created, it has only focused on agriculture leaving their sector aside.
Byabanemu argues that their sector has unique challenges that need an independent Ministry to handle such challenges for the benefit of the people and government.
John Maate, the Treasurer for Katwe – Kiganda Boat Owners Cooperative Society Limited also says that the current Ministry has for long supplied seeds to the farmers but has never given support to the fishermen.
The fishers also accuse Uganda Wildlife Authority -UWA of its alleged failure to compensate victims and families whose relatives are killed by crocodiles and other wild animals.
UWA is a semi-autonomous a Government Agency that was established in 1996 with an aim to conserve, manage and regulate Uganda’s wildlife.
Tzhe residents says despite launching a number of complaints after crocodile attacks, UWA has allegedly delayed to compensate them.
Majidu Musisi, the General Secretary Local Council I of Mwaro village in Kasenyi Parish, Lake Katwe Sub-county said that UWA has not bothered to compensate the victims.
They narrated their ordeal to the Kasese District Woman MP, Florence Kabugho who was in the area on her official visit.
Kabugho, who also toured Kasenyi and Kahendero Fish Landing sites, explained that she was sent by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities to assess the challenges faced by the people living on the lake shores and thereafter will write a report to the Ministry.