Govt secures Shs500m speedboat to tackle floating islands

Monday May 10 2021
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Ministry of Agriculture and Nile Fishing Company officials take a test ride in the Yamaha UA-MJX-BST01-10PAX-2021 speed boat in Entebbe. Photo/ Paul Adude

By Paul Adude

The project Coordinator Support Sustainable Fisheries Development project at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industries and Fisheries (MAAIF), Mr Alfred Akankwasa has said a Shs 500 million speed boat secured by government will help the ministry in the process of tackling the floating islands that resulted from increased water levels in Lake Victoria. 

“We will move around the lake in identified hotspot areas especially Masaka, Mayuge and jinja areas where the islands come from, the ministry together with other government agencies are able to break the floating islands from their origin so that they don’t affect normal activities on the lake,” he said.

Mr Akankwasa made the remarks while addressing journalists in Entebbe after receiving the boat from officials of Nile Fishing Company that was contracted to deliver the boat.

“Due to the increased water levels there was a problem of floating islands which at one point affected electricity generation at Kiira dam in Jinja and delayed transportation across the lake, the floating islands affected fishing and also led to fish deaths” he said.

Mr Akankwasa said the boat is the first of a kind bought specifically to monitor the movement of the floating islands and other water weeds affecting activities on the lake.

“Prior to this, we were challenged to get the quickest means of transport to the hotspot areas since we had to look for a speed boat to move around the lake which was tedious and expensive” he said.

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The company’s executive director, Mr Christopher Saazi said the boat, a Yamaha model UA-MJX-BST01-10PAX-2021, has a seating capacity of 15 people with powerful four stroke engines and can easily be maintained during the course of breaking the floating islands on the lake.

“In the past, boats used to consume a lot of fuel using two stroke engines but with these new four stroke engine models which use less fuel, which makes it easier for the ministry to plan for the usage of the boat,” he said.


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