By Innocent Atuganyira
Fishermen in Buliisa district Bunyoro subregion Western Uganda are appealing to the government to extend their registration.
In a letter dated 13th April 2022, from ministry of agriculture, animal industries and fisheries to Chief Administrative Officers of districts situated around water bodies across the country, signed by the acting director fisheries, Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, directed all fishermen to get registered before 30th April 2022.
However, fishermen in Buliisa district are asking the government to extend the registration exercise saying they are not prepared for the exercise.
Robert Ukumu, a fisherman at Kamagongoro landing site in Walukuba Parish Butiaba sub county talking to our reporter explained that they are not yet prepared since the registration requires money.
However, Ukumu urged fellow fishermen to embrace government programs saying once one rejects, they might be excluded among fishermen.
Robert Tumwesige, a fisherman at Butiaba Booma landing site in Butiaba town council explains that they have been struggling with very many challenges like floods, covid-19, among many others saying that they request for some extension period.
”We have been struggling with very many challenges like floods, covid-19, among many others therefore we are requesting for the extension of registration period,” he asserted.
Moses Balimwijuka fisherman at Wanseko landing site explains that the registration has come at the wrong time since they have been greatly affected by coronavirus, and floods which have greatly affected them.
”Government should consider extending this registration since we have been greatly affected by the corona virus and floods,” said Balimwijuka.
After the registration process, the government will launch operations against those engaged in fishing illegally.
Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko the acting director fisheries said from November 2021 to March 2022, the ministry of agriculture fisheries and animal industry had been conducting training for district fisheries officers in districts surrounding Lake Victoria and Kyoga on registration of fishermen.
Ikwakut directed the fisheries officers to ensure all fishermen get registered before the 30 April deadline elapses.
The government wants all fishermen, boat owners, fish vendors, fish smokers, fishing net producers, and vehicles that transport fish to get registered at a fee to contribute to the country’s economic growth.
In Bunyoro the affected districts are; Buliisa, Hoima, Kagadi and others along Lake Albert.