BUGESERA - The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, handed over 25 boats worth Rwf 346m to Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) to be used by marines of the two institutions to fight crimes that affect food production around the lakes.
The function took place on the shores of L. Mirayi in Gashora Sector, Bugesera district.
The Minister of Defence, Gen. James Kabarebe received the boats on behalf of the RDF and Musa Fazil Harelimana, the Minister of Internal Security, on behalf of Police
“We found it imperative to protect these lakes which in the end would see increased production from these waters, thus ensuring food security,” Kalibata said
She singled out water hyacinth, predator fishing and using unauthorized fishing nets as some of the crimes that have been affecting production on lakes.
“With the help of the police and the army, we believe these hindrances will be done away with and will ensure smooth running of activities in these lakes which will lead to development.”She appealed to hundreds of local residents who attended the function to consider this support as theirs and partner with police and army to fight all kinds of crime on the lakes.
Addressing the gathering, Kabarebe observed that lakes in the country have been underutilized and that partnership with other institutions will boost the fishing industry in the country, hence development.
“The security we aim at is getting out of poverty, getting education,” Kabarebe said. “Together we can achieve the security the country is aiming at.”
Harelimana thanked President Paul Kagame for building supporting institutions, which he described as rare in other countries. He also warned all those who have been indulging in criminal activities around the lakes to desist.
The use of unauthorized fishing nets has been rampant on several lakes in the country. Lakes have also been considered one of the routes to smuggling from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
The donation was funded by Africa Development Bank through Inland Lakes Integrated Development and Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) which operates under the Ministry of Agriculture. The boats will be used in fighting crimes in the 17 inland lakes in partnership with fish cooperative societies.
The function was also attended by the Environment Minister, Stanislas Kamanzi, the Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana and the Governor of the Eastern Province, Ephraim Kabayija, among others.