The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is working on a common protocol that will ensure the three countries bordering Lake Victoria share the resource amicably.
The EALA Member of Parliament, Dr. Oburu Oginga revealed that as part of the East African integration process, the assembly is developing a code of regulation that is expected to bring sanity in the use of Lake Victoria by fishermen from the three countries.
Kenyan fishermen have for years complained of harassment and torture by Ugandan police in the waters of Lake Victoria.
Oburu explained that Lake Victoria is considered as a common user facility by the three states and the introduction of a common law will guide peaceful fishing activities in the lake.
The legislator who was responding to Siaya County Assembly Speaker, George Okode’s petition to have the plight of Kenyan fishermen addressed at the EALA, regretted that Uganda currently has the upper hand in the waters of Lake Victoria because of heavy security presence.
He said that as a common user facility, all the three countries have equal right to fishing so long as the activity is guided by a law that is common and binding to all.
“Lake Victoria does not need police presence, all that is needed are fisheries authorities to guide the fishermen and ensure peaceful coexistence of fishermen from the three countries,” Dr. Oburu said.
The two leaders were speaking in Usigu division Bondo Sub County where they had gone to distribute food to flood victims in the region
Speaker Okode disclosed that Siaya County Assembly had passed two crucial bills that will ensure victims of natural disasters are cushioned from hardship.
Okode stated that the county assembly had passed the Emergency Fund and the Tax Waiver bills that will be handy during times of emergencies.
He said that through the emergency fund bill, the county government will be able to set aside funds to help those who have been hit by natural calamities and at the same time provide a lee way for donors to boost the kitty that will be subjected to audit for transparency.
The county assembly speaker explained that the tax waiver bill on the other hand will enable the county government to waive taxes during hard times when people cannot be economically productive as a result of natural calamities.
The two bills are awaiting assent by Siaya governor, Cornel Rasanga.
By Brian Ondeng’