In a bid to enable Ugandans reduce drowning incidences, Fortebet, Uganda’s leading betting company, has donated life jackets worth 7.5 Uganda shillings to fishermen on Lake Victoria.
According to the state minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi, at least 5,000 people die in major lakes and rivers across the country every year.
Quoting data from Lake Victoria Basin Commission at the launch of water safety campaign in Busaabala a few weeks ago, Kiwanda said this number could be higher given that most cases of drowning happen in remote dams and swamps and often go unnoticed and are not documented.
“We (Fortebet) were shocked on hearing this. This is a very big number that must reduce to zero because everyone has a right to life. This is the reason why we have come with this donation,” said John Nanyumba, Fortebet’s Media Manager, while handing over the jackets. He added, “I am happy to note that many of you are our customers. We therefore came to aid the right people. We shall keep coming back to give even those that didn’t get this time.”
The two weeks campaign dubbed ‘Save Lives on Lake Victoria’ started with fishermen at Kigungu landing site on Saturday. Here, 30 different fishing boats owners each received a high quality life jacket. Over this weekend, Fortebet will also donate to fishermen at Kiyindi in Buikwe.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow fishermen, Musa Male said, “Life jackets are expensive for our standards. Some of us have passenger boats, and it is very expensive to buy life jackets for all the passengers. However, this is a very big reliever. Thank you Fortebet.” Another fisherman, Joseph Walusimbi said, “It becomes very expensive for an ordinary fisherman to regularly buy reflector jackets. We must be very grateful to Fortebet because it is the first betting company to donate to us.”