Delegates drawn from the East African Community have raised alarm over increased sand harvesting on the shores of Lake Victoria, which they say is affecting fishing operations in the lake.
Speaking during the Lake Victoria Local Authorities Cooperation (LAVRLAC) meeting at the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu on Friday, the delegates called for legislative interventions to the same.
The group called member states of the EAC to come up with laws to regulate the sand harvesting, observing that initial fish landing beaches have been destroyed and turned into deep gulleys.
They said that the operations have affected fishermen operations, with LAVLRAC Uganda chapter Vice Chair Patrick Bumbo saying that this has opened the window for imports from China.
"The ailing fishing industry which is a livelihood for millions of people living along the lake is as a result of neglect. Right now, Chinese fish has flooded the market, rendering local fishermen jobless,” he was quoted by the Standard.
Bumbo added that the harvesting has affected fish numbers in the lake by destroying their breeding zones, noting that poor waste disposal habits is the other menace affecting fishing in the lake.
"We mine sand from the lake and we deposit all the waste into the lake yet expect the fish to survive," he added.
Present delegates promised to play a role by pushing for the introduction of stiff penalties againt those engaging in the mentioned activies.