• Rebekah Kading

Fishing Crisis on Lake Victoria

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

In 2017 the Ugandan government took steep measures to stop illegal, fishing on Lake Victoria, so stocks of over-fished Nile perch and tilapia could replenish. The Ugandan Army was given the authority to enter fishing villages and burn equipment that was not to the new regulations. One of the communities supported by Musoke International – Lwanjaba landing site – has been affected by this crisis. Many of the orphaned children we support reside here with their guardians. Fishing for small “silver fish” (see photo) is their main livelihood, even though the government regulations are intended to curb the harvesting of undersized perch. Without the funds to purchase regulation nets, this community has been left in crisis without a trade to earn a living. Many have relocated to different parts of Uganda, but many also remain in hopes of finding a solution and rebuilding their business.


Fishing boats docked at Lwanjaba Landing site, Uganda

In December 2019, Brian and Rebekah Kading visited the Lwanjaba Landing site. In response to this crisis, the people had been working with the Tedd Community Development Foundation to develop a plan for farming fish. Farming fish would largely (but not entirely) replace open water fishing in this community as a means to legally generate income from fishing without getting caught back up in the current unrest. Musoke provided some seed funding for the project leaders to seek approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and purchase a couple cages and stock fish to begin farming. Their business development plan includes putting funds earned back into the project, with surplus going to pay for medical care for the guardians and school fees for the children. Musoke is excited to see the community developing a sustainable project that will generate income and lead to financial independence.



Photos, from top left: The Lwanjaba villagers show Brian and Rebekah Kading the site where they would like to put a series of fish farming cages, The people at Lwanjaba landing site explain their fish farming plan to Brian and Rebekah Kading, Silver fish drying on a tarp at Lwanjaba landing site, Children at Lwanjaba landing site.


TCDF Secretary, Charles Muwe Mugerwa, shows the nets used to catch silverfish.


Silverfish drying in the village. The villagers are proposing to also use the silverfish to produce chicken feed to sell and to use themselves, because chicken feed is very expensive.


A view of the landing site and fishing boats.


The site where the fish farming cages would be placed.



For more information:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/05/uganda-military-cracks-down-illegal-fishing-lake-victoria/

https://securefisheries.org/news/militarization-fisheries-lake-victoria

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