FISHERIES AND HIV/AIDS IN AFRICA:
INVESTING IN SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
A Regional Research for Development Program by the
WorldFish Center and the FAO
Report on Stakeholders Start-up Meeting Held at Kiyindi Landing Site thin Mukono District on 6 June 2008.
Under the “Fisheries and HIV/AIDS – Investing in Sustainable Solutions” project,
The Department of Fisheries Resources (DFR) will provide the institutional support
through organizing stakeholders meetings and three stakeholders meetings were agreed
upon in the protocols signed between DFR and project Management of WorldFish
Center- Lusaka office.
th June 2008 at The first stakeholder meeting – the start up meeting - was held on 6
Kiyindi landing site in Mukono district. Meeting Programme is attached as Annex 1
2. Objectives of the meeting
1) Ensure that relevant stakeholders at national, district and community level are
fully aware of the project objectives, activities and processes
2) Obtain relevant stakeholders comments/inputs on the research project activities
3) Understand the next steps of the project implementation
4) Launch/ kick start the research activities
3. Expected Outputs
? A shared understanding of programme objectives and processes by the
? Way forward on the next steps of project implementation
4. Meeting Participants
The meeting was attended by 56 participants from; Department of Fisheries Resources
(DFR), Department of Food Science and Technology of Makerere University, Uganda
AIDS Commission (UAC), Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), Mukono Local
Government (technical and administrative officials) and fishers and fish traders from
Kiyindi, Kembo Kitamiro and Kirongo Beach Management Units (BMUs).
The attendance list is attached as Annex 2
5.0 Opening Session
5.1 Remarks from LVFO
Kirema Mukasa informed the meeting that LVFO was established to coordinate fisheries
activities among the East Africa Community (EAC) Partner States and has contributed
significantly in the formation of Beach Management Units (BMUs) on Lake Victoria.
She pointed out that during the bi-annual Lake Victoria lake wide tours by heads of
fisheries management and research institutions from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania,
HIV/AIDS has been persistently reported by fishing communities as the key problem. In
response LVFO has attempted to link fishing communities of Lake Victoria to HIV/AIDS
service providers and donors. In 2006 LVFO organized a regional meeting in Mukono to
seek support from AMREF and SIDA. Also with EU support through Integrated of
Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP), LVFO has provided health centre micro projects in
Kenya and Tanzania. She concluded by saying that despite all these efforts health services among fishing communities are still low and therefore WorldFish Center support is timely and welcome.
5.2 Remarks from UAC
Nkolo Charles the coordinator of Monitoring and Evaluation from UAC informed the meeting that Government of Uganda first tried to control HIV/AIDS single handedly through the Ministry of Health under AIDS Control Programme but later realized that this was not sustainable and registered little success because of continued increase in spread of HIV/AIDS. He said that UAC was established by the Uganda Government to coordinate and encouraged other government and Non government institutions to participate in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was glad to note that DFR is coming on board the fight against HIV/AIDS. He urged the fishing community and local leaders to cooperate and help the researchers to come up with reliable information about HIV/AIDS among fishing communities for more appropriate interventions.
5.3 Remarks from DFR
Dr. Rhoda Tumwebaze welcomed and thanked the members for turning up for the meeting which was organized and coordinated by DFR. She informed the meeting that DFR is principally mandated with fisheries management and development but is increasingly getting concerned about the high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates among fishing communities. HIV/AIDS is a big threat to the industry because it affects the livelihood of the fishing communities, the sustainability of fisheries resources and economy of the country at large. She said that DFR developed a strategy for controlling HIV/AIDS in 2005 but has not been implemented because of lack of funds. She pointed out that donors always ask for current information about HIV/AIDS before they support an intervention therefore this research project will provide the necessary information for intervention. She urged researchers to package research findings in a simple and easy to understand format by all stakeholders and requested the communities to be cooperative and give information needed by researchers.
5.4 Official Opening
Lubega Masengere the Najja Sub-county L.C.III Chairman officially opened the meeting. He pointed out that a number of researches have been previously conducted among fishing communities but feed back has been never given to the beneficiaries nor has action ever been taken on the findings. He was optimistic that this research will come up with information for practical solutions for HIV/AIDS related problems among fishing communities on Lake Victoria.
6.1 Information about the project
Aventino Bakunda informed participants about the objectives of the project, operational area, implementation of the project, funding of the project, what has been done so far, stakeholders involved in the project and also highlighted on what is going to be done. The detailed presentation is attached as Annex III.
6.2 Research activities by Makerere University
Dr. Margaret Kabahenda one of the researchers from Makerere University introduced Dr Byaruhanga and Mr Sam Akankiza from Makerere University and highlighted their roles on the project. She said their focus will be on improving the nutritional and economic value of low value fish products. This will involve looking at who is consuming the different types of low-value fish products, who is processing them and how; and possibly who is consuming these products. They will also look at challenges in maintaining the quality of fish products along the value chain and how to improve on the processing of low-value fish products to improve nutritional quality and in the process help those involved in harvesting and processing these products to get more money for their catch. She indicated that her team will be working with fishermen on the landing site and the islands next to Kiyindi, traders, and consumers. Another researcher from Makerere University (Nite Tanzarn) will looking at migrations and also assess the value chain more thoroughly. She will focus on economic aspect of things.
She informed participants that currently, they are reviewing literature to understand what is being done in Uganda and other countries. She thanked LVFO, DFR, National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) for assisting them in their work. She further said during June/July 2008; they will start their field work and called upon meeting attendants to assist them when they come in their communities. In
September/October, they will start collection of fish samples and in January 2009, they will present their initial results (at Kiyindi) and get comments from stakeholders.
6.3 Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC)
UAC will provide policy and institutional guidance to other stakeholders more specifically to Makerere University research team. UAC was still working out detailed implementation program as was agreed upon in the protocol signed with the project Management of WorlFish Centre- Lusaka.
The technical presentation generated a lot of interest about the project. The following points were raised for consideration during the project:
a) Experience shows that men fishers stay on islands and don’t move a lot. Women who come from
mainland after the death of their husbands from AIDS and go to the islands are the problem.
Researchers should go to islands where most of the problems are experienced and not on the
mainland where most men have families.
b) Men have a belief that older women are already sick of AIDS and they are now looking for
c) Research should be conducted along with sensitization about HIV/AIDS. Sensitization should be
combined with provision of condoms, testing and provision of drugs.
d) Sick people are skeptical about testing. There is need for counseling.
e) Keeping money at home is a problem. Young people are making money but are not saving.
Fishers don’t have reliable saving institutions. Therefore, they keep their money at home and is
available any time for booze and women. There is need to provide saving and credit facilities to
f) Many children in fishing communities are not going to school. There is need to target fishing
communities and sensitize people in the islands to take children to school.
g) Research should look at how to improve behavior of the people. Young boys are marrying older
women and older men marrying very young girls. This increases infections. Women look after
themselves very well. Old women have money and look after young men. For young girls, they go
for old men because they have money and can afford their needs.
h) In islands, there are bars, disco halls but there is no sensitization on preventive measures, testing
facilities or use of condoms. Men use the physical appearance of women to judge whether they
free from HIV/AIDS.
i) In Dolwe, fishers don’t have condoms. A packet is about 2,000.This becomes expensive because
they also have to pay for sex. The percentage of those with AIDS could be 90%.
j) In Mukono district, there are free condoms. BMUs should link up with healthy centers and get
condoms. At sub-counties, there are testing services and fishers should go there. There is also
ARVs. (Response by a medical worker from District Directorate of Health Services – Mukono