State minister for Fisheries, Ruth Nankabirwa has said the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) will continue to monitor Lake Kyoga as a measure of eliminating illegal fishing on the lake. The minister also said government was looking for ways on how it could evict more than 1,000 people on the lakeshores who are engaged in illegal fishing.
“They (people staying on the suds) were so intimidating. Nobody could really afford taking his head there to evict them without the assistance of UPDF and police,” Ms Nankabirwa told Daily Monitor.
Operation against those involved in illegal fishing activities on Lake Kyoga started last month. It is jointly carried out by the UPDF, police and the enforcement team together with the local leaders of the four districts of surrounded by the Lake Kyoga. The districts include Nakasongola, Amolatar, Dokolo and Apac.
Police is leading in the operation, backed up by the army but the operation has widely been criticised by human rights bodies and the opposition.
The Fisheries state minister further warned that those who will not come out of the lake voluntarily would be arrested and prosecuted.
“Their days are numbered.We shall hunt for them if they don’t come out voluntarily ,” she said, adding that those living in the suds have a rope around their necks and they don’t know.
So far, about 500 people have been evicted from the lakeshores and are living in the official gazetted landing sites of Kayei, Acholi Inn, Palamio, Wansolo, Kiga and Kampala Kagoye. About 527 huts, 7638 monofilaments were burnt during the operation.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor