By Solomon Hamala
12 people have been rushed to hospital with stomach complications after eating Nile perch fish that they found floating along the shores of Lake Victoria.
The 12 who include two children reportedly picked the floating Nile perch fish along the shores of Lake Victoria on Monday 15th February. They then took the fish home and prepared it for lunch but developed stomach complications moments later.
The LC one chairman Busiro landing site, Karim Otoyo said the 12 all residents of the area complained of stomach complications before being rushed to Banda health center 3 in critical condition.
Otoyo said it’s the first time residents who have consumed the Nile perch fish are complaining of stomach related complications upon consumption.
He said residents had earlier been cautioned to avoid consuming the fish for fear it could be poisoned but many claim they lacked food for survival.
“Many of our people are fishermen who entirely rely on the lake to earn a living yet now no activity is taking place,” he said.
The District Fisheries Officer Namayingo, Fred Igoma said results of fish samples that had been taken to the government analytical laboratory indicated that the massive deaths of Nile perch is as a result of low dissolved oxygen levels on Lake Victoria waters.
Igoma urged members of the public to consume the Nile perch fish when it’s still fresh saying it’s likely to cause stomach complications like diarrhea when consumed in bad form.
“When the fish gets bad it causes some complications,” he said.
He appealed to fishermen to always pick the dead fish from the Lake to ensure an increase in the oxygen levels to reduce on more deaths.
Igoma said some people are likely to take advantage of the situation to use poison in order to catch fish saying anyone found guilty risks being arrested and prosecuted before courts of law.
The Assistant District Health Officer, John Oundo said the 12 are to be transferred to Namayingo health center 4 to receive better health care.
The LC 5 chairman Namayingo, Ronald Sanya urged government to urgently handle the problem to reduce the death of the Nile perch fish on Lake Victoria.
Sanya said majority of fishermen have abandoned the business and parked their boats saying they can no longer carry on saying it’s a waste of time when the Nile perch is floating on the shores of Lake Victoria.
“Our people can no longer work in this kind of situation when fish is dying in big numbers,” he said.