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State House, partners support Buikwe fishing communities to boost their incomes

BUIKWE, May 21, 2024 – The State House and partners have extended support to the fishing communities in Buikwe district. The support, in the form of broiler chicks and feeds, was days ago given to the beneficiary groups for the poultry project in Buikwe-Ssi-Bukunja, Ngogwe, Kiyindi and Nyenga.

The donation is part of the State House’s Strategic Campaign on Alternative Income Generating Activities to the Fishing Communities in Uganda.

The project kicked off in July last year to help the fishing communities in the country to enhance their livelihoods through alternative income generating activities like poultry, apiculture, livestock farming and commercial crop growing.

The initiative started with Buikwe as a pilot district, and it will later be enrolled to other fishing communities across the country. Buikwe has 52 fish landing sites.

The strategic campaign also aims at helping the government to preserve Lake Victoria by stopping illegal fishing among the communities through alternative economic activities.

The project is being coordinated by the Office of the Private Secretary to the President In-charge of the Youth, Agriculture, Innovation, Value Addition and Export Promotion, and the Office of the Principal Agriculture Officer- State House.

Handing over the broiler chicks and feeds to the beneficiaries at Ngogwe Sub-county headquarters, Buikwe District, the Assistant Private Secretary to President Yoweri Museveni in charge of Value Addition, who is also the project Coordinator, Sylvia Nakiwolo said State House together with development partners,  NGOs, government ministries and agencies like the National Agricultural Advisory Services [NAADS] are working together to empower the fishing communities in the country through sensitising and giving them support to stop depending entirely on fishing for livelihood.

“Today, State House together with NAADS, we have given out broiler chicks and feeds to 12 groups under the poultry project in Buikwe fishing communities. And in the near future we shall be giving them pigs, cows, fish, among other items. We have a big package for these people. I want to thank President Museveni, the State House Comptroller, NAADS and other partners for this initiative,” said Nakiwolo.

“We are also going to set up a women’s entrepreneurship centre with common user facilities where we shall be training women in different skills like tailoring, baking, shoemaking, among others,” she added.

Nakiwolo further explained that with this campaign, they want to show the fishing communities that they can uplift their lives by taking part in other economic activities other than fishing.

“We want to elevate the status of the people in the fishing communities,” she added.

On his part, the Buikwe district LCV Chairperson, Jimmy Kanaabi thanked the government for giving the people in the fishing communities start-up capital, saying it will help them to stop depending only on fishing.

He also noted that when people get involved in other economic activities, it saves the lake from illegal fishing.

“Currently, Lake Victoria has issues. If someone is to do legal fishing, he will need like Shs25 million which is expensive for the ordinary people but with these alternative income generating activities, people will be able to get incomes from other sources to improve their livelihoods,” said Kanaabi.

Kimera Bernard, an official from State House explained that Strategic Campaign on Alternative Income Generating Activities to the Fishing Communities in Uganda is President Museveni’s project aimed at preserving the lake to enable all Ugandans to benefit.

“This campaign is not meant to chase anyone away from the lake, rather it’s meant to preserve the lake. As a leader like President Museveni, it’s upon him to put up laws and avenues that help each Ugandan to benefit,” he said.

“Due to the increasing population, we find ourselves that the lake is no longer enough for all of us so we may need other sources of income. This programme is to help the fishing communities get alternative sources of incomes apart from fishing.”

Kimera also requested the people of Buikwe to cooperate with the government to ensure that the campaign is a success.

In the same vein, Dan Kiyaga, the Chairperson of Bukunja Foundation [BUFO], urged the people of Buikwe to embrace legal fishing and the State House’s strategic campaign so that they are able to improve their household incomes.

“The groups that will perform well after receiving these chicks will be supported more. We should work together and utilise this chance well so that we benefit more,” he asserted.

The Ngogwe LC3 Vice-chairperson, Dorothy Namaganda thanked State House for the campaign, saying it has revived the hopes of the people of Ngogwe Sub County and Buikwe district at large.

“There’s a lot of poverty in the fishing communities but this campaign is going to help us boost our incomes. Side income is very crucial,” Namaganda said.

Members of Agali Awamu who are some of the former fishing communities in Buikwe after receiving chicks from State House during a meeting in Ngogwe Subcounty (PPU photo).

“We also want to thank President Museveni and we promise that we are going to utilise this support well,” she added.

The Buikwe District Youth Chairperson, Richard Lubowa commended the President Museveni for the initiative, saying the initiative is helping the youth in the district to fight unemployment.

“This campaign is part of President Museveni’s initiative to improve the livelihoods of Ugandans. We should accept the fact that the NRM government has played its part,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Hatiba Nali from Muyubwe Group, expressed gratitude to President Museveni and State House for the support. “We have been suffering on the lake but with this support we are going to improve our household incomes,” she said. “President Museveni, we are so happy for what you have done for us. We are hardworking ladies and we request you to give us more items like pigs, fish and cows.”

Another beneficiary, Rose Namuswe Lubega from Agaali Awamu Household Cluster also thanked President Museveni for the campaign. “The State House has sensitised us about the project and they have now given us start-up capital. My group has received 300 chicks and feeds,” said Namuswe.

“I also want to thank BUFO for identifying and connecting us to the State House; If it was not for them, we wouldn’t be getting all this support.”

At the same event, the beneficiary groups were trained on the proper ways of looking after the broiler chicks in order to get the best out of them.

The project partners include NAADS, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Trade, Office of the Prime Minister, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization [UNIDO], Microfinance Support Centre, Bukunja Foundation, among others.

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