By Jay Tumwesige
Fishing activities have stalled on Lake Albert at Kanara landing site in Ntoroko district following an invasion by water hyacinth.
The water hyacinth has for the last two months made fishing and movement of people on the water very difficult.
Fishermen say the water hyacinth was brought by wind following a heavy rain in the past few weeks.
“The water hyacinth was brought by the wind; we don’t know where it came from. We woke up in the morning and found some parts of the lake covered and since then it has been rapidly spreading,” Said Phinihansi Kamara, a fisherman at the landing site.
Kamara added that most fishermen have docked their boats and are calling upon the concerned stakeholders to come to their rescue.
“We cannot do much. We tried weeding it out of the lake but we couldn’t manage. we have appealing to the concerned authorities to come to our rescue otherwise it might cover the whole landing site, Kamara said.
Brain Baluku who owns over 10 boats at the landing site, said on a good day he can make about over 1.5 million but he has pulled out of the business because of incurring loses.
“We are pulling out of businesses because of the water hyacinth it’s making our work difficult and many of us can nolonger afford to get the basic needs for our families because we are not working fishing is the major source of income on the landing site, Baluku said.
Consenquently the price of a kilogram of fish has raised from 12,000 to 17,000 at the landing site and most of the fish sold is from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Most of the fish now sold at the landing site is from the Congolese side, the weed is too heavy to allow movement and boats cannot penetrate through, ” said Angu Fred, a fishmonger.
The Kanara Town Council LC III chairman David Korsaid that he has already notified the district leadership to take action because some people have started living the landing site .
“We have informed the district leadership about the water weed that is covering the landing site, many people depend on the landing site for fish and it is one of the largest landing sites on Lake Albert, Kor said.
The LCV chairman for Ntoroko district Timothy Kyamanywa however said that he has already informed the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries for help.
“We have already informed the ministry of fisheries about the water weed that is threatening to cover the landing site and we are optimistic that the problem will be solved, Kyamanywa said.