By Francis Emorut
Fish dealers in 15 districts have received equipment and fish gear worth sh1.5b.
The equipment purchased by the Germany International Cooperation (GIZ) were handed over to the beneficiaries by the former director of fisheries in the ministry of agriculture, Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, at Civil Service College in Jinja on Thursday.
The equipment included milling machines, sausage machine, wood sawing machine, drying racks, life jackets, solar freezers, boat engines fishing nets for both silver fish and Nile perch, electric freezer and others.
The districts in which beneficiaries came from include Bugiri, Busia, Buvuma Island, Kalangala, Mukono, Wakiso, Kampala, Kalungu, Buikwe, Mpigi, Namayingo, Mayuge, Kyotera and Masaka.
These are the districts in which fishermen and fisherwomen carry fishing activities in Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga.
According to the GIZ project leader, Adolf Gerstl, the handover of equipment comes after the beneficiaries underwent 14 months training in fish handling and processing aimed at improving household income and fight poverty.
He said beneficiaries were trained in areas of business skills, fish handling and preservation, basic financial management, environment protection financial literacy and other topics.
Nyeko urged the fish dealers to put in practice what they have learnt and utilize the equipment to improve households’ income.
The GIZ portfolio manager Dr Michael Klingler said the training was an initiative of responsible fisheries business chain project to address gaps in the fish industry.
He said the objective was to ensure food security, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods of fishing communities
During the handover ceremony certificates were also awarded to participants and some of the latter handed a cock to GIZ officials in appreciation of training them in fish handling and processing.