Kenya has agreed to share the disputed Migingo Island with Uganda. This comes even as the government maintains that the land is in Kenya.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma on Wednesday said they had signed an MoU with Ugandan authorities to enable fishermen and other Lake Victoria users to access either side of the boundary.

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Migingo Island covers less than half a football pitch but over 500 people live on this tiny African fishing island. Photo/Courtesy

Local fishermen prepare their netsNile perches are cut and cleaned, ready to be cooked

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Fishing boats anchored in the small harbour of Migingo Island. While a boat ride from the Kenyan mainland to Migingo takes two hours, getting from Migingo to Jinja in Uganda takes 18 hours, according to Kenyan fisherman Kennedy Ochieng and Ugandan fisherman Eddison Ouma

What is left now is to set the modalities for access management and sharing of resources.

“Kenyans should know that these boundaries are shared by communities across the countries, and we have to find a way to make them soft,” said the CS.

“My message to Kenyans is that we have their interests at the top of our minds and this can be realised by reducing the risks they face in accessing the trans-boundary resources,” she added.

Asked whether the agreement will define where the island legally belongs, Ms Juma said: “Kenyans must know the territorial integrity of the country will never be negotiated away.”