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Poor State Of Shs 1.8 Billion Gulu Aquaculture Centre Shocks Minister

Shocked: Minister Beatrice Akello

The state of the Gulu Aquaculture Research and Development Centre on Tuesday shocked the State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Beatrice Akello Akori.

Akori had visited the Centre during a monitoring exercise but was shocked to discover that it had been abandoned and left idle for over 15 years since its establishment in 2007.

The Gulu Aquaculture Research and Development Centre originally called Lalilya Fish Fry Centre valued at 1.8 billion Shillings sits on 14.8 acres of land. It was established by the government in the 1960s to promote fisheries and research in aquaculture as well as food processing in Northern Uganda.

Initially, it belonged to the government but its ownership was transferred to the Gulu district local government as part of the decentralization process.

Emmanuel Orach Pachoto, the Gulu District Fisheries Officer told Akori that it was until 2007 that the Ministry of Agriculture, Animals and Fisheries Industries (MAAIF) requested and started the rehabilitation of the facility with funding from the African Development Bank.

Since then a number of facilities including 22 fish ponds and 3 reservoir dams, a hatchery, a store, and offices among others were established but have remained redundant to date.

Orach explained that the actual reporting to the Centre was not one of the district`s roles leading to the abandonment of the site by two contractors procured by the central government while they watch helplessly.

It was in 2019 that the Gulu district reacquired the facility from MAAIF.

The district then partnered with Agromax in June 2020 to develop the facility and make it operational under a leasehold period of 22 years.

But to date, Agromax which partnered with the Gulu district have also failed to show up at the site for close to three years leaving it idle.

Akori said that it is disturbing that such a huge investment which cost the government heavily is not serving its purpose. She promised to take up the matter.

During the visit it was also discovered that some of the equipment at the facility have broken down, all fish ponds and the water reservoirs were already eaten by grass and a water supply channel was seen.


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