Uganda to construct Maritime Coordination center to surveil activities on Lake Victoria

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has revealed plans to set up a Maritime Rescue Coordination Center to monitor, surveil and control activities on Lake Victoria. The center will be constructed in unision with Uganda’s neighbors Tanzania and Kenya.

The plans were unveiled by Joyce Ikwaput, who is the Commissioner for Fisheries at the 37th Graduation of the Fisheries Trainining Institute in Entebbe where a total of 433 students graduated with certificates and diplomas, 129 of these being females and 40 attaining first class awards. Ikwaput delivered an address on behalf of MAAIF Minister Frank Tumwebaze.

Commissioner for Fisheries Resources, Joyce Ikwaput

“We have Lake Victoria that we share with our neighbors Kenya and Tanzania, crime on the lake and accidents are quite often, this justifies the need for a rescue and surveillance center. We (MAAIF) have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Works and Transport to construct a Maritime Rescue Centre,” Ikwaput said

“The Center will be constructed here at the Fisheries Training School to monitor movement of vessels on Lake Victoria in order to respond accordingly to distress calls and security alerts. We are going to design a training program to equip divers and response teams with the required expertise,” she added

Ikwaput indicated that the rescue centers will be working in concert with their Kenyan and Tanzanian counterparts. Tanzaniais to costruct a similar facility in Mwanza and Kenya in Kisumu to ensure proper and comprehensive monitoring of the lake.

Ikwaput implored the fresh graduates to join the fight against illegal fishing practices by sharing their knowledge of the impact it has on the lake and the environment, and said she hopes they will be good proponents of sustainable fishing. “We expect them to collaborate with enforcement bodies especially the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) to realise sanity on Uganda’s water bodies,”

Entebbe area legislator Michael Kakembo said it has been long overdue to construct such a facility and hopes it can be instituted as soon as possible. He said he is to back the voices at MAAIF to ensure that the funds are appropriated for the project.

Entebbe Municipality MP Michael Kakembo

“The facility will help curb insecurity on the lake and as well save lives that are threatened by natural calamities on the lake. The center will also create employment for our students from the center and as well help in research and learning of our fisheries students,” Kakembo noted

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