Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Tiny African Fishing Community On Lake Victoria's Migingo Island...

The tiny island of Migingo on Africa's Lake Victoria is roughly the size of half a football field but the tiny jumble of rock is home to about one hundred and thirty people.
Nearly the whole community is involved with fishing and trading the rich stock of River Nile and when they're not fishing or crammed into  their corrugated iron and wood huts, they're enjoying the five bars, a beauty salon, several hotels and numerous brothels that the island boasts. Why they live in such cramped conditions is strange as there's a wonderfully lush green and virtually uninhabited island less than two hundred metres away but perhaps it's the entertainment that keeps them on their funny little island. Or staying close to the mother lode.
There's more about the little community here.
Because the River Nile catch is worth a lot of money both Uganda and Nigeria are often involved in hostile disputes as to who owns the island and it's valuable resources.
Greed is everywhere...

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  1. All those people would drive me nuts.

  2. How Bizarre! Greed is part of the human condition - unless you challenge it...

  3. maybe the other Island is clearly owned by someone else and setting foot may result in severe consequences...who knows.

  4. Poor fish.Living next to all that waste.

  5. If the resource is so valuable, you'd think the locals could afford to put up something better than tin shacks. Maybe they should annex the neighboring island and declare the independent nation of Greater Magingo. Then they can set up a lucrative entertainment complex and duty free zone, pay off their neighbors and keep everyone happy.

    1. Maybe they like living in their simple tin sheds.
      They probably get destroyed in storms every so often and they'd be easier to rebuild than anything else.
      They have a simple life too, which is to be envied.
      They work, they play they sleep. They have no mortgages, wouldn't know what an insurance policy was, have no commuter problems, no roads, They probably live life fully till they drown in the waters surrounding them or the booze they drink.
      The locals are probably very happy. They've got what they want without the paperwork.
      It's the politicians who aren't happy because they want something that's not theirs.
      It's the same the world over.
      What do you think...

  6. What I notice on reading that article is that the trouble began when pirates heard these fishermen were prospering and decided to shake them down. Then governments wanted a cut of the action. So I guess part of the lesson is that when you've got a good scene going, keep it under the radar so Mafiosi and G-men don't come around wanting to inflict their protection racket on you.

    Another angle is the conservation of the fishery. If everyone concerned is acting solely out of short term personal gain, then it wouldn't surprise me if the Nile perch got fished out in a generation or two, maybe less. Fish stocks are stressed all over the world, so I'd think it's by no means out of the question. If that happens, there won't be a Migingo to fight over. It'll just be a former fishing village, of interest only to archaeologists.