FISHERIES groups conducting their businesses around Lake Victoria have a reason to smile, following efforts to train and equip them with life-saving gadgets.
Jerome Kamukama (25), a resident of Bukoba Municipal’s Myamukazi beach in Miembeni Ward, is among the youths who attended the programme that was jointly coordinated by the Disaster Management Team under the Prime Minister’s Office (DMT-PMO).
“On behalf of other youths who are engaged in fisheries, I thank the government for the intervention. The training on rescue-related efforts will greatly enhance our activities,” he said.
Hassan Masoud (28), from Kashai Ward explained that he narrowly escaped death after their canoe boat was swept by strong winds. He survived by holding on a piece of wood for almost five hours until was rescued by other fishermen in high waters.
Many accidents have been recorded along Lake Victoria partly due to overloading and lack of safety equipment including life- jackets.
Meanwhile, Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Albert Chalamila, has urged fishermen operating along Lake Victoria to be patriotic and impart their knowledge to other people.
Equally, he tasked the Fire and Rescue Force to conduct regular inspections in residential houses and educate people on the need for disaster preparedness.
He made the remarks recently while opening a capacity building training where at least 60 fishermen from Bukoba Municipal Council (50) and Missenyi District (10) attended a capacity training programme aimed to cope with disasters.
He explained the training programme was aimed to equip the fishermen with more skills on how to provide first aid to injured persons, fire control measures and practical rescue operations.
Elaborating, he said all the eight councils -Muleba, Biharamulo, Ngara, Bukoba DC, Karagwe, Kyerwa, Missenyi and Bukoba MC will be covered under the programme.
“The fishermen are important persons taking into consideration that marine accidents happen from time to time while fishermen were close and arrive soon on the scene of accident,” he said.
He explained that the training programme was of great importance as it would enhance rescue management efforts and minimise loss of lives in case of disasters.