KAYONZA- There is scarcity of fish in Kabare sector in Kayonza District which is an area bordering lakes Nasho and Ihema. The scarcity has forced even restaurants to remove fish off their menus, residents say.
The residents blame the scarcity of fish on fish cooperatives in the area, which allegedly prefer selling fish to buyers from outside the sector.
“It is bad to find that we can’t get fish to eat in a situation whereby we are living near the lakes…Nasho and Ihema,” said Sylvester Bihoyiki.
“All fish is taken to towns and Kigali city, leaving us here without any fish to buy. The fish we can get here cost Rwf900 unlike before when it cost Rwf500. It is not good to assume that we do not know the importance of fish,” he added.
“Cooperatives sell fish to big buyers outside our sectors. They do not care about us since we understandably can’t offer them big profits”.
Sector officials however, say cooperative societies were formed in a bid to encourage order in the fishing business and prevent illegal fishing.
“It was horrible before we introduced cooperatives. Everybody was involved in a chaotic environment, in which fishing was not being carried out according to set standards,” Godansi Uwizeyimana, a local leader who oversees fishing process in the area said.
Uwezeyimana however, added that in future there should be a way to help residents access fish easily.
“Surely, they should get some special priority, but this will be done after restoring order. We are still battling some isolated cases of illegal fishers…but again we need the community,” she said.