Fishermen Ignore Drying Stands

2761 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
olome Nassaka has been dealing in silver fish trade at Lambu landing site for the last 15 years. According to Nassaka, even before the drying stands were introduced, she used to dry her silver fish on bare ground.

The quality of silver fish from landing sites in Masaka district is compromised due to poor handling. 



Silver fish alias Mukene is a delicacy among some communities. It also used in the production of poultry and animal feeds.


 
According to our reporter, fishermen at Lambu, Kachanga, Namirembe, Ddimo and Kaziru landing sites in Masaka dry the silver fish on bare ground despite the availability of drying stands put in place by the district seven years ago.
 



Masaka district teamed up with Lake Victoria Environment Management project and spent a whopping Shillings 50 million to erect the stands to stop the practice of drying the silver fish on sand, which had frustrated export because of quality concerns.
 

There are 19 silver fish drying stands at Lambu landing site, 15 at Namirembe, 10 at Dimo and another 10 at Malembo landing site among others. Following the construction of the stands, the district banned the drying of silver fish on bare ground.



 
However, the district has failed to enforce the ban leaving several traders to dry silver fish on the ground. Solome Nassaka has been dealing in silver fish trade at Lambu landing site for the last 15 years.
 
 
According to Nassaka, even before the drying stands were introduced, she used to dry her silver fish on bare ground. Nassaka says although they welcomed the construction of silver fish drying stands, they are not enough for all fishermen at the landing site.
 
 
 
She claims that they harvest several tons of silver fish, which can't be dried on the available stands. James Nuwagaba, the Chairperson Lambu Elders Forum, which replaced Beach Management Unit, says the number of silver fish dealers is bigger compared to the stands.
 

He says Lambu site has about 10,000 people, which a very huge number compared to the available fish stands. Nuwagaba says only about five people can uses the available fish drying stands.


 
// Cue in: "Tuyinawo nebitandaalo…
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Ibrahim Kabugo, the Masaka District Production Secretary, says the failure to utilise the fish drying stands has affected the quality of silver fish and market. He says they had started exporting silver fish to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and South Sudan, which stopped due to the poor quality that has denied the district revenue.

 
// Cue in: "Twesanze nga…
Cue out: …ezekuusa ku bukyaafu."//

 

Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LC V Chairman, says their preliminary findings show that the fishermen prefer drying the silver fish on the ground to realize more weight.

 
// Cue in: "Tukizudde nti abasubuzi…
Cue out: …nazo tezilya musenyu."//

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.