Beach Management Units in Ntoroko Temporarily Suspended

2210 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
According to Steven Mujuni, the district fisheries officer says that the members have failed to remit the revenue collected from the movement permits to the sub-counties neighboring the landing site

The Beach Management Units in Ntoroko District have been temporarily suspended for inefficiency. The Beach management Units were formed to monitor and develop fisheries infrastructure on lakes.
 
The units are tasked with managing tax collection and issuing movement permits to all operators at landing sites throughout Uganda, monitoring, tackling illegal fishing methods on lakes, improve sanitation and hygiene at the landing sites, among other things. 
 
During a Thursday district council meeting, Ntoroko District fisheries Officer, Steven Mujuni told council that the beach management units were being abused by the executive members. The BMUs supervise Rwangara and Kanara landing sites on Lake Albert.
 
According to Mujuni, the members have failed to remit the revenue collected from the movement permits to the sub-counties neighboring the landing sites. The sub counties include Kanara, Bweramule and Buntungama. 
 
In 2012, the district council passed a resolution that the BMU are supposed to remit 60% of the revenue to the sub counties. However Mujuni says that for three years, the units have remitted less or even no money to the sub counties.
 
Mujuni also told council that the beach management Units are abetting poor fishing methods by demanding for bribes from the fishermen. He argued that the beach management units have failed because they are not monitored and evaluated.
 
During the council that was chaired by the speaker Bernard Kyomuhendo, it was resolved to suspend the units pending consultations over the issues raised by Mujuni. The Council also resolved to suspend the election of the new beach management unit executive in March.
 
However the suspension has been criticized by leaders of the units, accusing the district officials of bias. 
 
Vincent Mugisa, the Kanara Beach Management Unit chairman says that the unit has failed to raise adequate revenue since their conservation efforts are being frustrated by the fishermen who continue to defy the regulations by trapping immature fish and using poor fishing methods.
 
Mugisa says that instead of suspending their operations, the district should appreciate their efforts. He says that beach management Unit patrols have several times been attacked by the fishermen, while trying to burn the illegal fishnets which are confiscated from the landing sites.
 
Gerald Nkoma, a fisherman at Kanara landing site says that suspension of the BMU activities will give room to fishermen to engage in illegal fishing methods.