Cooperatives & Communities

High fuel prices threaten Kasese fishing communities

KASESE – As fuel prices continue to soar, fishermen at Kahendero landing site in Kasese district, western Uganda are being hit hard as some have been forced out of the business.

According to fishermen at the landing site, the price of a litre of diesel has since last year increased from Shs 5,000 to between Shs 6,800 and Shs 7,000, and a litre of engine oil from Shs 7,000 to between Shs 10,000 and Shs 12,000.

Nelson Musobozi, one of the boat owners at the landing site said they are no longer earning much from the business because of the increasing fuel prices.

“We are actually making losses because fuel prices have increased but the price of fish has remained the same which means we are getting very little profits or sometimes nothing,” Musobozi said.

Musobozi said he uses a lot of money daily for fuel but earns less from what he invests it in, leading to losses.

He said on a daily basis he normally uses fuel of between Shs 80,000 to Shs 90,000 but the results are always embarrassing.

“Most of us are soon leaving the business if fuel prices do not reduce because we are just here wasting time and money,” Musobozi said.

Musa Bwambale another fisherman said some fishermen have parked their boats and he is likely to follow suit if nothing is done to ensure fuel prices drop.

“Very soon I will leave this business like my colleagues and go home because this is too much. Imagine using a lot of money to buy fuel and you catch very few fish that can’t even buy the exact fuel you have used?” Bwambale said.

The Chairperson Kahendero landing site, Peter Businge said if government does not address the issue of fuel, the youth who are in the fishing business are likely to be left jobless.

Businge appealed to government to construct a vocational school near the landing site to enable fishermen to learn skills that they can do to supplement their fishing business.

“Fishing business is becoming profitless because of rising fuel prices, so it is better if fishermen undergo skilling to enable them to have a side income,” he said.

Kahendero is one of the six landing sites bordering Queen Elizabeth National park along the shores of Lake George in Kasese district.

There are 48 registered boats on the landing site with each boat licensed to have at least three fishermen on board during fishing, but currently, there are 30 active boats at the landing site.

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