By Curthbert Kigozi
Nine fishermen have narrowly escaped death after a boat they were travelling in capsized on Lake Albert today. The incident occurred between Kyabarangwa and Nsongagi in Kigorobya sub-county, Hoima district.
The fishermen were travelling to Kyabarangwa landing site from Nsongagi landing site which was closed recently.
The fishermen were travelling in two boats. One of the boats was loaded with their household property that included chairs, beds, cooking utensils and other cargo.
The Kibiro landing site Local Council Chairman Godfrey Abigaba says that a heavy wind swept up on the lake causing the boats to lose balance.
The boat that was loaded down with the fishermen’s worldly belongings tipped over nearly taking the first boat on which the fishermen were with it. The fishermen were forced to jump out of the boat and struggle to cut free the second boat that was sinking.
Nearby fishermen seeing their colleagues in trouble, rushed over in more canoes to offer assistance.
The incident comes at a time when the police and army in Bunyoro sub region are enforcing an interagency taskforce directive to close down sixty-one ungazetted landing sites out of the 200 around lake Albert.
The decision was taken to help reduce unnecessary movement and curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic around Lake Albert’s porous border points.
Hundreds of fishermen have said they are not sure how they will earn a living if all the ungazetted landing sites are shut down.
In Hoima alone over forty landing sites are ear marked to be closed.
The identified landing sites due for closure include:
Old Health center