Uganda police force has passed out 48 Marine officers after undergoing a six-week intensive induction course in maritime operations at Marine Police headquarters, Kigo.
While officiating at the pass out ceremony last evening (October 30, 2020), Commissioner of Police Lawrence Nuwabine, the Deputy Director Human Resources Development, who represented the Inspector General of Police, urged Police Marine Unit to guard jealously the waters of Uganda since it’s one of the biggest revenue earners for the country and it can be infiltrated by wrong elements who may want to sabotage the economic development of Uganda.
CP Nuwabine said that the only way to protect the water bodies effectively is by building the capacity of Marine Police through training and empowering the officers in the unity with the necessary equipments and funds, which police management is trying to address.
He urged the officers to use community policing by engaging the fishing community to reduce incidents of drowning in the water bodies of Uganda, especially addressing the issue over drinking alcohol.
CP Nuwabine thanked the officers for saving lives in the lakes of Uganda despite having very many challenges in the department.
The Commandant Police Marines, Eng. James Apora, said that in the last six years( 2015 to 2020), 1980 accidents/incidents have happened in Ugandan waters and they managed to rescue 1118 people, however, 862 lives were lost during that period.
Eng. Apora said that the leading causes of drowning incidents are due to bad weather, overloading and poor state of the vessels.
He added that the mandate of the unit is to ensure maintenance of law and order within Uganda water bodies, to monitor and coordinate search and rescue operations on waters.
They also enforce government regulations on immigration, fishing and smuggling on Uganda Uganda waters.
The course modules were navigation in the maritime domain, firefighting in maritime domain, diving, life saving on the water bodies among others.