PAKWACH. Leaders in Pakwach district local government have expressed frustration over delayed utilization of 20 acres of land donated to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to promote fish cage farming.
The land in question situated in Nyamutagana village was donated in 2018 following a request by the president during his visit to Goli for fundraise for St Stephen Cathedral.
In his justification, the president argued that with the establishment of modern fish cages in endowed areas of Panyimur in Pakwach, the region would rapidly boost her economy due to growing demand for fish both on Ugandan and foreign markets.
Mr Robert Omito Steen, the district chairman together with other leaders want the president to expedite the utilisation of the land that has remained idle ever since yet there is growing demand for its use from locals.
While meeting the state minister for fishery in Panyimur and Dei in Pakwach district recently, the district team expressed discontent over what they termed as lack of interest and communication gap between the president and the district team.
"We have earmarked 20 acres of land towards fish cage and establishment of a fish factory as per the request of the president in 2018, please minister, since then we have not been updated with any information in regard to work on this land. As we speak, the land is totally idle, please help us to remind him of his commitments", Omito said.
The officials are however optimistic that the establishment of both a fish factory and fish cage will create employment opportunities and promote inter-trade with Democratic Republic of Congo. As the project site is located near the border with DRC.
Mr Samson Odwokacen Muganza, a district councilor speaking on behalf of the fishing community said the delay to start site work is demoralizing to the community that had high expectations about the project.
"This presidential initiative is a way of revamping the already extinct fish breeds and as leaders we are sure that this project will be a learning centre geared to promote this region, so help us carry the message please", Odwokacen stressed.
In her response, Ms Hellen Adoa, the state minister for fishery who toured the donated land in accompany of the district officials, promised to remind the president and advised the district officials to formalise and hand her the requests for delivery.
"Thanks for this quick response towards the presidents’ call and I want you to be patient enough, please hand me all these and I will present to him and give you feedback", Odoa said.
Pakwach district with predominantly 90 percent of its community depending on fishing as main economic activity, it harbours over 40 fish species with the rare one Alestes baramonze commonly known as Angara that is historically found in Pakwach in West Nile region. Other species include, Protopterus commonly known as lung fish small pelagic "sardines" Nile perch and Electric fish among others.