Bunyoro Students Become Fishermen due to Prolonged Closure of Schools

Many students in the Bunyoro sub region’s districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Bullisa and Kagadi have ventured into the fishing industry after the prolonged closure of schools by the government following the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 Pandemic.

On 18 March 2021, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ordered the temporary closure of schools across the country to help Uganda tame the spread of Covid-19 that was spreading across the world.

Four days later the Ministry of Health confirmed the first case in Uganda, a situation that compelled the president to announce an extended total lockdown among other measures to help in contain the spread.

All the learners were advised to stay home and wait until the situation gets under control.
As a result, many of the students who came back from school in the Bunyoro sub region have joined the fishing sector to earn a living. They are employed at various landing sites in the region from where they carry out fishing expeditions on the lake Albert waters.

Charles Balijura, a S.2 student of Greenshoots Secondary school in Hoima says he was forced to venture into the fishing industry in order to earn a living following the prolonged closure of schools due to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19.

Charles Munguromo, a S.5 student at Kasule Secondary School in Wakiso district whose parents reside in Buliisa says he sat home with hopes that the situation would normalize in a few weeks.

He had anticipated normalcy to return within weeks but the wait turned to months and now years. He too was compelled to join the fishing industry at Butiaba landing site in Buliisa with the hope of raising school fees that can take him back to school the following year.

Stephen Maditrwoth, a S.2 student at Albert Secondary School also in Hoima says after life became difficult, he decided to embark on fishing since the situation at home became unbearable as his parents could no longer provide for them while at home. When he joined the fishing activities, he started providing food for his entire family to date.

Robert Mujuni, a fisherman and a parent at Kaiso landing site in Hoima says it is true many parents have directed their children even those below 15 years old into the fishing industry, adding that some of the children at the moment are not willing to report back to school.

Kasim Agaba, a parent at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube says he too was compelled to employ his two boys to join the fishing industry to help him raise some money to look after the family.

Vincent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LC5 Vice Chairperson says there is a need for government and other stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive awareness campaign to ensure that the students report back to school next year.

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