Fishermen on Lake Kyoga along the landing sites of Bukungu, Kigingi, Iyingo, Budipa, Kyankole, Ngole, Buyumba, Igalaza, Katogwe, Kasongoire, Kiwantama and Kanganyaza landing sites all in Buyende district among others have cried for government’s help over the escalating water weed locally known as ‘Nankabirwa weed’, which is eating up the lake of kyoga .
According to fishermen of Kyankole landing site, they said the weed started as a local grass on the waters of lake Kyoga but currently has eaten most of the landing sites something which has left them financially incapacitated as most of their fishing nets have vanished in waters; The Engine boats consuming a lot of fuel and as the fish catch has greatly dwindled as most of the fish’s gill get entangled in the weed roots making it suffocate and die.
They say Nankabirwa weed started as any local grass on water slowly but it is now threatening them and it has a higher multiplier effect coupled without any alternative
The genesis of the water weed is still unclear but fishermen said it was named during the reign of Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa when she was the Minister of Fisheries.
Ms Hamida Juma 40 who is a born of Kisumu – Siyaya, Usonga district in Kenya but married in Uganda for the last 17 years and a resident of Bukungu landing site currently involves herself in silver fish business and owns 30 motor boats charged with transporting people along the waters of lake Kyoga to the landing sites of Kayago, Bangala, Naluboyo and Kawongo says the business has been paralyzed by the persistent water weed and her revenue as a result has greatly dwindled.
Mr Ziribasanga noted that the presence of the water weed has forced fishermen to relocate to free water weed landing sites in other districts and the problem is further exacerbated by its continuous multiplication in the nearby water catchment areas leading to spread of bilharzia due to the marshy and soggy conditions.
He implored the government to use a biological control method as the only way to control the weed as it has reached a level of not being managed by crushing machines, a method which was used to reduce the water hyacinth on Lake Victoria