Man Jumps to Death into Lake Albert Fearing Arrest by FPU

A 20-Year-old fisherman has died in the lake Albert waters after he allegedly jumped in the lake fearing to be arrested by Fisheries protection Unit-FPU personnel.

The deceased has been identified as Milton Gubaza, a fisherman attached to Runga landing site in Kibiro parish Kiganja sub county in Hoima district. The incident happened on Thursday evening.

It is alleged that the deceased while on a fishing expedition on the lake Albert waters, met the fisheries protection unit-FPU operatives who were patrolling the lake.

He immediately jumped into the lake and died instantly, fearing to be arrested since he had illegal fishing gear including undersized fishing nets, hooks and a boat that are not recommended to be used on the lake.

Godfrey Abigaba, a resident says it is unfortunate that they have lost their colleague who died while trying to escape from the FPU operatives.  Oromo Luzira, also a resident says the FPU operatives should regulate the way they carry out their operation saying they are too harsh to the fishermen.

He adds that there is need to have peaceful engagement between the operatives and the fishermen for sanity to be restored since most fishermen fear them due to too much torture and brutal arrests.

“The operatives are too harsh to the fishermen to the extent that when you are arrested, you are severally beaten, tortured and that is why some fishermen would rather die than be handled by FPU operatives,” said Luzira.  “Let them use peaceful means of executing their operations while on the lake if not many fishermen are going to lose their lives in the lake.”

In a telephone interview with URN, Major Richard Mafabi, the sector commander who is overseeing the FPU operations on Lake Albert says they have launched investigations into the matter. He has however cautioned fishermen not to fear the FPU operatives while on the lake but rather cooperate with them.

On November 2, 2021, a fisherman drowned in Lake Albert when he panicked after seeing personnel from the Fisheries Protection Unit -FPU.  

The deceased was only identified as Owonda, who was attached to Kijangi landing site in Tonya parish in Buseruka sub-county.

He was fishing together with threes when the FPU team went after them for using illegal fishing gear.  Owonda reportedly jumped into the lake on citing the officers and drowned.

In July 2021, two fishermen died in Lake Albert in the Kikuube district when their boat capsized. 

The deceased was only identified as Ajaruva (35) and Richard (24), both attached to the Bugoma landing site in Buhuka parish in Kyangwali sub-county.

The two fishermen met their death after strong winds hit their boat forcing it to capsize. 

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