News and Views
Uganda Government finalises plan to sell Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake
The State Minister for Fisheries Ms Ruth Nankabiriwa said the move is aimed at boosting on the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Ms Nankabirwa further noted that private investors will be allowed to come up with activities such as cage farming, beaches and other forms of tourist attractions.
According to the minister, cage fish farming on Uganda’s lakes has now got full approval from the Government because this can help Uganda to increase fish stocks in its lakes.
“When the public embraces cage fish farming Uganda will be in position to produce enough fish for both local consumption and export,” she says.
The minister has now advised fishermen who are still operating their businesses on lake shores to prepare and vacate before they are forcefully evicted.
However, according to the Executive Director of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists Mr Frank Muramuzi, the move is going to make it hard for government to enforce environment laws aimed at protecting the lake from depletion of natural resources like fish.
He says it will also encourage environmental degradation since the government will have no control over the waters.
With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and is also the largest tropical lake in the world. It is the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area; only Lake Superior in North America is larger. In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world’s ninth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750 cubic kilometers (2.2 billion acre-feet) of water.
Lake Victoria receives its water primarily from direct precipitation and thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake’s western shore. Lake Victoria is drained solely by the Nile River near Jinja, Uganda, on the lake’s northern shore.