A team of experts that visited Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga and River Nile for a fact-finding mission says preliminary results indicate that, unlike media reports, the fish that were found floating on the lake shores – were not poisoned.
According to the Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary Pius Kasajja, the team was made up of senior fisheries inspectors, senior laboratory officers and laboratory officers that were dispatched by the directorate of fisheries resources on January 5 and 9.
They picked samples from Kasenyi landing site and surrounding areas, Gguda landing site (greenfields), Bugonga landing site and Kigungu landing site and Wagagi Flower Farm and Lido Beach.
An official statement indicates that preliminary results from testing water and fish samples have been taken to three labs, namely: Directorate of Government Analytical Laboratory (DGAL), for toxicology; National Fisheries Resources Research Institute Laboratory, for Algae analysis; and National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC), for pesticide residue analysis.
According to preliminary conclusions, there was no fish poisoning. “As we await the comprehensive laboratory findings report due on Monday, January 11th, 2020, preliminary investigations have ruled out fish poisoning. As only the Nile Perch species have been affected by this phenomenon,” reads an official statement.
A spokesperson of the agriculture ministry told me they had not got all the final results.
Officials suspect that the recent storms on the lakes caused mixing of the different waters thereby reducing the oxygen levels in the lake due to stratification.
The public has been urged to disregard the audio circulating on social media calling upon people to stop eating fish as the fish from the regular catches can easily be distinguished from the floating dead fish.
“The fishing community and general public along the lake shores are however advised to pick the dead fish and bury it to reduce the stench,” ends the statement.