Sunday, 17 April 2016

Over 600 Kasese fish farmers get 75,000 fish lings

By Moris Mumbere

600 Kasese fish farmers get 75,000 fish lings 
Fish farmers in Kasese district smiled their way home on Wednesday after Government gave them 75,500 fishlings worth unspecified millions of shillings.
The fishlings, which included 31,000 tilapia and 45,000 cat fish, were delivered and issued out Wednesday under one of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) for Busongora North, Maj Barnabus Mughongo Bwambale
”We have also given them three tonnes (3,000kgs) of start-up multi-nutritional feeds for their fish ponds,” Maj Mughongo said while over-seeing the distribution at the Kasese district headquarters general stores.

The beneficiary organisations include the Rwenzururu Queen Mother Christine Mukirania's Nya Mukama Foundation for Social and Community Development, which one 2,000 fish capacity pond at Kibenge, Nyakabingo 3 Parish, off the Kasese-Kilembe road.
Managed by the Queen Mother’s granddaughter, Christine Kibanzanga, the Rwenzururu king Charles Mumbere’s daughter, the Nya Mukama Foundation for Social and Community Development, helps orphans in the kingdom.
Speaking to New Vision on getting the inputs, Christine Kibanzanga, hailed government for supporting the Queen Mother’s imitative to support the community.
“The Foundation looks after 600 orphans but our financial support capacity is still low so we think this government input will take us a step higher,” Christine Kibanzanga said.
The fish was also given Mahango Seed Secondary, located in the mountainous areas of Rwenzori.
Doreen Masika, a teacher at the school, says fish farming in her school is aimed at not only boosting the nutrition of the students and teachers but also to teach the learners that without lakes fish cannot be produced.
“Besides farming fish in the school for learning purposes, we also want to show people that living high in the mountains cannot prevent us from engaging in fish farming which people only associate lakes,” Masika said.
For 40-year-old Nevelesi Masika Muswa, a mother of 12 children and member of Isule Fish Farmers Group, OWC promises to be the answer to the chronic poverty that has constantly prevented her from fully supporting her school-going children.
Isule is one of the parishes in Maliba Subcounty that border the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
“I joined my association   to gain knowledge that can help me improve my family incomes,” she said.
The group leader, Nehemiah Magoma Baluku, told New Vision that engaging in fish farming in Isule parish, will reduce the wildlife poaching temptations on the Park and thus save the environment.
Like Magoma, fish farming by Bihanda Fish Farmers Cooperative in Nyakiyumbu Subcounty, Bukonzo West constituency, will reduce the fishing pressure on Lake Edward, according to the group leader, Franco Kabwangana.
Kabwangana credited area MP and Defence minister, Dr Chrispus Kiyonga, for having encouraged the group to take up pond fish farming.
The group has 65 ponds along Kayanzi fish landing village on the shores of Lake Edward.
“One of our challenges, however, is that sometimes crocodiles from the lake jump into our ponds and eat our fish,” he says, explaining that the group plans to fence the ponds off.

OWC (operation wealth creation) is a government poverty-reduction programme that supports agriculture, animal husbandry, micro-finance savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOs) and farmer institutional capacity building.
During his recent presidential campaigns, President Yoweri Museveni said his government would increase the budget for poverty reduction.