Kisumu — Eleven fishermen are being held by Ugandan authorities after their arrest on Monday in Lake Victoria in Siaya County.
According to Nambo Beach Management Unit (BMU) chairman Alfred Ochieng, the fishermen were nabbed while on a fishing expedition.
Ochieng said they are being held at Sigulu island in Uganda for unknown offence.
“We received reports that our members were arrested but up to now we do not know on what offence,” he said.
Ochieng said they dispatched a team to the area where they were arrested and found their fishing boats floating on the water.
“All the fishing boats were towed up to Nambo Beach in Bondo sub county safely,” he said.
He noted that the Ugandan authorities are demanding 40 litres of fuel each for their release, an equavalent of Ksh.10,000.
Ochieng said they hoped the harrassment in the lake would die down after President William Ruto during his Nyanza tour last month promised to engage his Ugandan counterpart President Yuweri Museveni to end the long standing dispute in the lake.
“It’s still our plea to President Ruto, to make a serious follow up on this matter with Uganda, we’re suffering in this lake, we need a lasting solution,” said Ochieng.
Fishermen have in the past detained in the neighbouring countries due to tress pass and use of illegal fishing gears.
In most occasions, they have lost their catch and other fishing equipment/gears.
Kenya only controls 6 percent of the lake while Tanzania occupies 49 percent and Uganda has 45 percent.
However, scientists believe most fish species breed on the Kenyan side of the lake before they swim into deeper waters, forcing Kenyan fishermen to follow them up for harvesting and end up being arrested.