The Germany Government has donated fishing equipment worth Shs.1.5 billion to facilitate the development of fishing-related businesses across 15 districts neighboring Lake Victoria.
The project leader for the Responsible Fisheries Business Chain Project (RFBCP) being implemented by a Germany-based international organization, GIZ, Mr. Adolf Gerst said the Shs.1.5 billion has been used to procure fishing equipment to facilitate proper and regulated fishing among the fishing communities in the 15 districts to make their business more productive.
‘’We are looking at strengthening the existing actors in the fisheries sector, making them have more fish on the table, earning income, and providing more fish for the market” Mr. Adolf said.
He explained that majority of the fishing communities in Uganda operate on a small scale, therefore without supporting them, the sector will continue to face a lot of challenges which include depleting the lake, because of the use of bad fishing methods.
He said, the project targets groups of vulnerable households and communities which include; artisanal fishers, and small and medium-sized enterprises within the fishery sector, with a target to reduce poverty.
‘’We have trained, about 2800 groups in several intervention areas, which includes marketing management and soft skills, costing and pricing and financial linkage, responsible fishing, and fish handling and preservation among others,” He stressed.
The districts which have benefited are; AMolator, Apac, Buyende, Serere, Oyam Kaliro, Jinja, Buikwe, Buvuma, Mukono, Kampala, Wakiso, Mpingi, Kalungu, Kyotera, among others
However, the government asked fishmongers to adopt other means of smoking rather than depending on the use of firewood as a source of energy to smoke fish.
The Acting Director of Fisheries Resources Management at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, Dr. Joyce Nyeko while officiating the handover ceremony said, although the fishing community is being empowered to develop economically, agent action is required to be taken to stop the community from engaging in activities that lead to environmental degradation.
‘’Climate change is real, and implementation of actions to end such actions is vital for the country to mitigate the challenges of climate change,” Dr. Nyeko expressed.
She asked the local leaders at the grass root level to promote infrastructure that is sustainable to drive the growth of the sector.
According to John Bondyo, the chairperson of the Sliver Fish Najja Development Association at the Kiyindi land site and one of the beneficiaries of the project, their incomes have increased due to the training acquired from the fish handling training.
However, he said that despite the support got from GIZ, they are still facing challenges.
Mr, Adolf said the equipment given to them will facilitate them to stick to proper fishing products.