Fishermen on Lake Albert attribute increased cases of piracy on laxity of leaders and security

Fishermen along the shores of Lake Albert have accused the Hoima district leaders and security team for not taking action to curb down continued piracy by the Congolese counterparts.

The fishermen from Ssebogoro, Kaiso-Tonya and Kijangi landing sites say Congolese fishermen continue to raid the Ugandans taking away boats, engines and fishing nets yet their outcry to the relevant authorities is never attended to.

At the end of January, fishermen from Kijangi landing site appeared on Community Green Radio’s weekly farming show to air out their grievances. They explained that the radio was one way of reaching out to leaders since the latter had refused to respond to their face-to-face and written petitions.

A one Ndawula, a fisherman said lose security marred by corruption tendencies had dragged the Ugandan fishermen into unending suffering at the hands of Congolese calling for an urgent action.

“The last raid was in the first week of January at Kaiso-Tonya landing site where nets, boats and engines worth 16 million were taken. Some of our people have died in the previous raids. And whenever we are to recover them, we end up paying a lot of money,” Ndawula who is a member of Kijangi listener’s club explained.

Hamud Oromam, the Youth Chairperson from Kijangi also blamed the leaders for keeping silent on the matter.

“We have always invited them to have a meeting with us and know what we are going through but no one is bothered,” he lamented.

Vincent Opio, the councilor for Kabwoya Sub County at the district says the matter is beyond the district and that it requires cross boarder engagements. He, however, faults the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, Steven Ekoom for failing to organize a meeting.

“If this issue is to be solved, we need a cross boarder meeting, however, we requested the RDC to organize one by November last year but all in vain.” Mr. Opio explained.

Mr. Ekoom said he has already ordered the marine police and the army to investigate the anomalies at the lake.

In February last year, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed deployment of the army at the lake to reduce on illegal fishing and flooding of the lake. The communities say the deployment has not been of any positive result.

Compiled by Precious Naturinda