By Gerald Tenywa

KAMPALA, Dec 3 (NNN-NEW VISION) — Fishermen in Katakwi in eastern Uganda, about 350 kilometres northeast of here, have got more than what they bargained for.

The fishing season in the expansive swamps in the area which normally runs from August to November has continued into December because of the rains brought by this year’s El Nino weather phenomenon.

According to Samuel Opio, a resident of Katakwi, the fishermen have been enjoying brisk business for the last three months. He says the plentiful supply of fish has attracted fish mongers from as far as Mbale and Tororo.

“We have been harvesting a lot of fish,” he told New Vision, adding that this has not only increased their incomes but also improved nutrition in their homes.

El Nino refers to the periodic building-up of a large pool of unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean and which causes moisture to be sucked up into the atmosphere. It periodically occurs on average every two to five years in the equatorial Pacific Ocean region and often results in heavy rainfall.

Previous El Nino episodes in Uganda caused floods in the low lying areas, particularly in eastern Uganda, as well as landslides in the districts sitting on Mountain Elgon. The worst landslide led to the death of 150 people in 2010.

This year, El Nino has caused the destruction of crops, residences, schools, roads in eastern Uganda as well as bridges and other infrastructure along the Kampala-Hoima Road and Mubende-Kampala Road.

It has also caused an increases in cases of malaria and water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera in over-crowded areas without adequate sanitation facilities.


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