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

CSOs in the Albertine region pledge to use Community Green radio to fight poverty

Civil society organizations in the Albertine region of western Uganda are ready and willing to partner with the community Green radio platform to fight the biting poverty in the rural areas. The activists believe the radio is best suited to deliver the message of positive change to the ordinary people.

 “Community Green radio shall be a good avenue in our protracted crusade against corruption and poverty in communities. We shall use the radio to mobilize citizens to shun corruption tendencies and to work to eradicate poverty”, explained Mr. Michael Businge, the Coordinator at Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environmental Conservation, BAPENECO. Mr. Businge made the remarks last Friday while appearing on Community Green radio weekly topical show, Orukurato (meeting). He explained that as a conservationist, he sees the radio as a vital tool in disseminating information to the local people.

Bbiira Nassa Kiwanuka, the Executive Director of the Mid-Western region Anti-Corruption Coalition, MIRAC believes the radio has demonstrated its close position with the common person.

“I have been listening to this radio and the voices of the common people are dominant. This is a good starting point for us to fight corruption and improve lives of Ugandans”, Mr. Kiwanuka explained.

I DEAL VOICE: Mr. Michael Businge(Right), the Cordinator BAPENECO in studios of Community Green radio in Hoima Western Uganda. CSOs are looking at the radio as an appropriate channel to cause change in communities and reduce poverty.

A report: “Who is growing? Ending inequality in Uganda” shared by Oxfam in 2017 shows that the poor in Uganda are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer. The richest 10% Ugandans have had their income grow by an impressive 20% per year. This means that 10% rich Ugandans own 35.7% of the country’s wealth, leaving the remaining 90% of Ugandans to share the remaining 64.3% of national income. This report also shows that the poor Ugandans have seen their possession decline by 21% over the past 20 years. As a result, the poor 10% of Ugandans own only 2.3% of the country’s wealth while the poorest 20% of Ugandans own a meager 5.8% of national income.
Mr. Businge says changing this trend of events requires vigorous work that calls for involvement of citizens and radio is one of those avenues to invite Ugandans into the discussion.

“And if the majority of our society continues to live in deprivation and poverty, and not find employment, the crime rate will never go down but may instead increase. Poverty destroys people’s ethics and morals and will give rise to hatred amongst people. Majority of our people are still dying of curable diseases, women dying while delivering, children shouldn’t be dying of malnourishment, youth still grappling with unemployment. This is due to deprivation of the majority of the services”, he explained.

Community Green radio works with communities to alleviate poverty through the various radio listeners clubs in Buliisa and Hoima districts. Through the work of the radio, communities have started apiary, tree nursery beds and other income generating activities.

Compiled by Julius Kyamanywa