President Yoweri Museveni has warned the people of Bukasa Island, part of Kyamuswa County against immature fishing calling it a taboo.
Addressing a rally at Ndekano village, the president said he was glad that the population on the island has gone up.
“I passed through this island twice on my way to Kenya during the liberation war. I had already noticed the island’s problems and that is why I okayed the creation of the district even when the numbers were few. You now have two constituencies, giving you a firm voice in Parliament.”
He discouraged them from catching immature fish saying it should be taboo just like among the Banyankole it’s an abomination to eat a calf.
“I was shocked when I heard people in Ssese were eating young fish,” he said, explaining that a lake is like a mine and there are limits to how many miners can be in a single mine.
“We cannot have everyone fishing without regulations. For example, one should not be allowed to fish in the “byondo” where the fish lay their eggs. That’s the maternity ward of fish.”
The president asked islanders to treat the lake scientifically saying for some periods in the year, fishing will be suspended to allow the fish grow.
“If scientists say you are not allowed to go here or there you will not go there. Similarly, tourism investors will not be allowed to build near breeding centres. We shall register all the boats at landing sites and give them licences. No one will be allowed to fish unless they are registered. It is about creating order.”
He promised to remove tax on boat engines, fishing nets and life jackets.
“I want us to manufacture nets in Uganda and tax the imported ones.”
He also urged them not be misled by leaders “who come to tell you lies. Some of those will be charged with sabotage and jailed”.
“I also hear there are radio stations that support these illegal activities, they should be warned,” he added.
The president said government is going to provide two ships to ply the islands, promising to talk to the authorities responsible on provision of adequate safe water.
“Kaganda Primary School and the health centre will get solar power. We will refurbish the health centre IV and each of the 84 islands will get a health centre II. We shall have a technical school in Kyamuswa and I am giving Shs50m to the Kyamuswa Sacco.”