For the last eight years, the multimillion fish hatchery that was constructed to improve livelihoods and enhance revenue for Lira district has remained in limbo.
The sh400m Anai Fish Hatchery was constructed in 2014 to help people recover from two decades of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) war. The hatchery in Anai parish, Lira City West division, which was constructed by the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, with support from the African Solidarity Trust Fund, was funded by the government of Japan.
The project, which was under the Northern Uganda Early Recovery Project, aimed to address the post-conflict and recovery challenges in northern Uganda.
Since the project was officially commissioned by then fisheries state minister Ruth Nankabirwa in September 2014, nothing has been realised from it.
The facility, which was being guarded, had its solar panels, batteries and equipment vandalised. The district constructed a water reservoir they said is worth sh20m to store water for the facility during the dry season.
However, the reservoir has become a death trap as it has no fence. A pupil drowned in the water in 2017. Grass has also overgrown on the numerous ponds constructed for breeding the fingerlings.
Committee visits project
The committee for communitybased services and natural resources last week visited the project site, guided by the district fisheries officer, Michael Okello.
He informed them that attempts to tender the project to a private partner, had been futile.
The committee chairperson, Moses Otim, said they are interested in reviving the project for revenue generation and improving the lives of the community in line with the Parish Development Model (PDM).
He said they will bring the matter to the floor of the council to tender the project to a private operator.
Thomas Okello, the head of the production department, said they intend to make sure that PDM benefits farmers.
“The PDM can only benefit farmers if we have the planting, breeding and stocking materials,” Okello said.
In addition to the fish hatchery being revived, he said they have also procured incubators.
“We can no longer afford to buy chicks and fingerlings from Entebbe, it is not cost-effective,” he said. Okello pledged to promote coffee farming in Lira and Lango.
Filed by Hudson Apunyo