President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni have agreed to install radars in Lake Victoria to curb illegal fishing.
The two leaders said the radar system will also monitor fishermen to help arrest those use prohibited gear that catches even fingerlings.
They were speaking on Saturday while commissioning two One Stop Border Post (OSPB) facilities at Busia border.
Addressing residents, President Uhuru said the facilities will not only enhance movement of people and cargo between the two countries but will also be a tool to unite Africans.
“We will not effectively compete with countries such as China and Singapore if we are not united,” he said.
He thanked Trade Mark East Africa and other development partners for supporting the OSBP facility financially adding that it will go a long way to improve security and economic wellbeing of EAC states.
He also reiterated his earlier position that residents within EAC countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania should be allowed to do business freely without a need for passports.
“Those willing to settle in Kenya or even marry are free to do so because we are one thing and it should be enforced immediately,” he said.
He said that construction of a trailer park at Busia, Kenya and other facilities will be addressed by the government.
President Museveni said he will talk to Uhuru and their Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli on introducing modern ways to protect natural resources in the Lake.
“Uganda alone cannot protect natural resources in Lake Victoria but it can do so jointly with Kenya and Tanzania,” he said.
He said he had mandated fisheries department to be in charge of fishing activities in Lake Victoria but it failed because of corruption, forcing him to use police.
He said he constructed 22 fish factories in Uganda when he took over leadership but they have all closed down because of illegal fishing activities in the lake.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong ignited the debate when he told President Museveni to address the issue of Kenyan fishermen being harassed by Ugandan policemen forcing them to eat raw fish as punishment.
He also said there is need for scanners to be installed at the OSBP facilities to electronically monitor cargo being transported by trucks instead of opening them as a way to avoid time wasting.
Others present included Kenya’s EAC Cabinet secretary Peter Munya, his Foreign Affairs counterpart Monica Juma and Busia Senator Amos Wako.