RNP Sensitise Fishermen on Security Issues

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Over sixty fishermen operating in Lake Kivu under their cooperative, Union de Cooperatives des Pechȇurs de Rubavu (UCPR), have been urged to take internal measures and partner with police to ensure‎ security in the lake.

The call was made during a security meeting with fishermen and chaired by Rubavu District Police Commander Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Callixte Kalisa.

SSP Kalisa told fishermen that that although cases related to maritime security are rare, “even a single crime can be eliminated if those in water-related business worked closely with the Police.”

The meeting also aimed at mobilising them to make personal and joint efforts to fight and prevent all sorts of crimes committed on water bodies.

The DPC identified smuggling of goods including traditional wear commonly known as kitenge, expensive alcoholic drinks such as wines and spirits, trafficking of drugs and other unauthorised or banned goods among others, as some of the common crimes reported in Lake Kivu.

Illegal fishing including using substandard or unauthorised nets, is also another unlawful act reported in water bodies‎.

SSP Kalisa advised those wishing to engage in fishing to first seek authorisation while transporters should always ensure they don’t over load boats.

“Most boats capsize due to over loading. This malpractice needs to stop,” he said calling for more commitment among fishers to ensure safety standards.

He also asked those involved in water transport to always wear life jackets and provide them to their passengers.

He further asked them to pass on timely information to security organs regarding those suspected to be involved in any unlawful act or those who attempt to use water transport to smuggle goods and narcotic drugs.

In his address the head of the fishermen’s cooperative Jean Damascene Gakuru also appealed to members not to engage or aid criminal and illegal business, instead report such people that try to use water bodies as a route for their unlawful activities.

“We spend most of our time in waters trying to earn a living. We therefore have to take a primary responsibility to ensure water security,” Gakuru said, reminding fellow fishers to avoid using substandard fishing nets which endanger immature species.

“Some of members also have a habit of using poor means of fishing, this must stop since it affects fish production,” said Gakuru


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