Ntungamo District authorities have suspended fishing activities on Lake Nyakiyanja following the death of thousands of fish due to suspected poisoning.
This comes after a week residents started sighting hundreds of dead fish floating on the lake.
Amos Besigye, the Ntungamo District Fisheries Officer, says their decision to suspend fishing was informed by findings from their initial investigations, which showed that residents used non selective chemicals that killed hundreds of fish.
“We have suspended the fishing for two weeks to see if more will die and we are going to take samples to the laboratory to see how much chemical is still in the water,” Besigye said.
"We also advise fishermen against picking fish that are dead for human consumption because it’s not safe and could be detrimental to people’s lives,” he said.
Mr Besigye also cautioned residents to desist from what he referred to as irresponsible use of chemicals and pesticides to catch fish, saying it is dangerous to aquatic life.
“We have lost so much fish, so the advice which we give people who do cultivation around the swamp is that they should not use any chemical because when it rains, chemicals will be washed away into the lake and swamp and this will kill all aquatic animals including the fish,’’ he said.
Ntungamo District Agriculture Officer, Esther Atwiine says they are working closely with the environment department to ensure that such an incident does not happen again.
Samson Magyezi, a resident of the area, says some residents reportedly used poison to clear some swampy areas, which ended up killing fish.
However, Francis Bagumire, a fisherman faults government for failure to institute measures on safe pesticide and chemical usage. He says that the incident is a big challenge to the fishermen since they basically rely on fishing for their livelihood.
on his part, George Bakunda, the Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner (RDC), said the district leadership will roll out a sensitization campaign to ensure that residents desist from practices that compromise the safety of the environment and aquatic life.