Harmonise laws to ‘resolve fishing disputes’

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Regional Integration has called for harmonisation of laws and regulations governing fishing activities within Lake Victoria to end incessant disputes among fishermen from countries sharing the resource.

Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, who is the committee chairman, said the different laws and regulations among nations sharing the lake resources were to blame for the endless conflicts between fishermen and government authorities.

This, he said, was an impediment to the regional integration since it has brewed cold war among the affected parties over the years.

  “Most of our fishermen are arrested and charged in Uganda because the regulations governing the Ugandan waters are different from what we have in Kenya. This is very unfortunate because fish do not know boundaries,” he said.

Speaking in Kisumu yesterday where the committee paid a courtesy call on the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Ochanda said there was urgent need to have one law governing operations within the lake since it is a shared resource.

The committee, he added will champion for the establishment of  a common law to enhance free movement of people and goods to promote regional integration.

“As we talk about borderless countries let us also talk about a borderless lake where our people can fish and move freely to promote regional integration,” he said.

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