Fishermen in Busamuzi and Buwooya sub counties in Buvuma district are living in fear following an invasion of crocodiles that have lately been roaming the shorelines of Lake Victoria in their area.
The fishermen say the crocodiles which they suspect to be about three in number, appear on the shorelines at different intervals during the day.
Mr John Magunda, a fisherman in Buwooya sub county notes that the crocodiles hide under stones during the evening hours and often attack them forcing them to abandon their boats. He says the crocodiles do not only scare them from accessing the lake, but they also destroy their fishing nets.
“By the grace of God I survived last week while coming back from the lake when the crocodile hit my boat. At first I thought it was strong wind until I show the crocodile coming towards my direction. I jumped from the boat and started swimming to the shore,” Magunda narrates.
Ms Teddy Nansereko, the Women Secretary Nkoka LCI Village Council, says three children sustained fractures while fleeing from the crocodiles.
“Our people are in danger and living in fear, fortunately they see these crocodiles on time and are able to flee. But there are those who usually dive in the water and these face a bigger risk than those who use boats,” she says.
Mr Charles Ayisu, the Busamuzi Sub county LC3 chairperson appeals for the intervention of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to trap and capture the crocodiles, which he says have become a threat to residents.
“These crocodiles have been sighted almost everywhere in my sub county so before they eat anybody, I am making an alarm to government through UWA because they have the machines that can detect these crocodiles and take them away,” he says.
However, the UWA Public Relations Manager, Bashir Hangi has instead advised residents to stop building and conducting business in the buffer zone on the lake since this is the habitat for crocodiles.
“Crocodiles come to the shoreline to find food, which is mainly fish. Shorelines are breeding areas but people directly bath from the lake even when we advise them to fetch water and take home. They should stop provoking the crocodile,” he said.