Children and fishing, in Katosi community

“Though Katosi landing site in Mukono district central Uganda has grown into a commercial landing site handling fish for export, the volume of activities at the landing site has declined over the years. Images of a very lively and busy trading centre when we were children are so vivid in my mind. The sunrise off the lakeshore gave it a golden look. Between 9- 12 in the morning, the place would get busier with boats landing fish, and women processors and traders from all over the country would come to the landing site to buy fish. My mother was entitled to fish from her two fishermen sons in-law daily. Fish was our daily food, eaten in all forms, shapes and sizes as the whole village would be filled with the aroma of smoking fish in the evening.” Margaret Nakato, Coordinator Katosi Women Development Trust (KWDT), and Executive Director WFF.

The recently concluded baseline study by KWDT in fishing communities reveals that children constitute more than 54% of the entire population in fishing communities (KWDT Baseline report for project inception, 2017). Access to adequate fish for consumption at household level is essential to meet the dietary requirements of children. However, reduced access to fishing grounds and fisheries resources, coupled with fish export has greatly reduced fish consumption by children, as much as adults (if not more).
During an interview with one of the women in Nangoma Landing site she narrated: “If your husband is not a fisherman, you cannot eat fish these days. And even when he is a fisherman, sometimes he cannot get fish for selling and again fish for eating at home”.
KWDT has actively engaged women and children in development activities and enhancing their role in restoring the fish stocks as well as reducing pressure on the fisheries sector by supporting women into diverse income generating activities. The best way to ensure children’s right to fish consumption is through ensuring access to fish for women and the local communities.