By TIMOTHY MBAYA
Kenya and Uganda have agreed to streamline operations in Lake Victoria to bring order in the waters.
This is after a meeting held in Migori town Wednesday by the officials from Migori, Homabay, Siaya and Kisumu Counties in addition to four districts in Uganda.
Last week, Siaya Senator James Orengo while speaking at a fundraiser in Awendo asked the Kenyan government to sue Uganda at the International Court of Justice over the row at the disputed Migingo Island
Kenyan delegation was led by Migori governor Okoth Obado and Migori County Commissioner Joseph Rotich.
The Ugandans were led by Major Martha Asiimiwe the Monitoring and Supervision Officer in President Yoweri Museveni’s office and Sylvester Opira, the resident district commissioner of Namaingo.
“We have reports of harassments from fishermen in Kenyan along Lake Victoria and especially disputed Migingo Island, we hope this meeting will spur cooperation to end these,” Obado said.
Governor Obado said the meeting will ensure they address complains they have been receiving from Kenyan fishermen in the lake.
“We have cases of illegal taxes and imprisonment of Kenyans by Ugandan forces, we have cases too of Kenyans being forced to sell their catch to Ugandans,” Obado said.
The governor said the meeting was also great step towards encouraging economic and cultural integration between the two countries.
Asiimiwe said who said the meetings were part of other high level of intervention to find solution to disputed Migingo Island by having fishermen and local leaders from both countries engage directly.
Her counterpart Opira said following previous meetings cases of harassment, illegal fishing and cooperation from fishermen and officials have yielded peaceful co-existence with no major cases reported.
“We know we may a few hiccups of security personal from both countries who steal harass fishermen, they will be dealt with at individual level,” Opira said.
In the meeting officials from the beach management units said they have jointly bargained for pricing with level of cooperation increasing from 70 per cent, to 90 per cent.
Migori Commissioner Rotich said the meetings have been key in bringing peace in the lake and avoid major conflict that have been escalating tension between the two countries.