THE ROCK CREATING AN

INTERNATIONAL TUG OF WAR

Migingo, an island in Lake Victoria no bigger than a football pitch, has two governments butting heads. 

Both Kenya and Uganda lay claim to the island, which is home to 300 residents as well as brothels, bars, restaurants, shops, a church and a mosque. 

One of the main reasons for the conflict, other than nationalism, is fish. Lake Victoria's fish stocks have plummeted in the last few years due to overfishing, pollution and possibly climate change.

 

But Migingo remains one of the best fishing grounds on the lake. 

Migingo Island on Lake Victoria. Kenyan authorities control half of the island (left in picture) and the Ugandans administer the other half. 

The incoming Ugandan police commander (standing) meets his Kenyan counterparts for the first time. 

“I don't know what we'll do for work instead.

- Kennedy Omondi, fisherman

Kennedy (pictured), 27, and his twin brother, Charles, sleep on Migingo during the day and fish at night. But they have seen their catch decrease dramatically in the last two years. 

 

Locals unload food and other supplies from boats that periodically come from the mainland. The closest town in Kenya is two hours away while Ugandans have to travel at least a day to get home. 

A fisherman from Migingo Island stands on his boat, which was overturned during the night due to strong winds.

There is no childcare center let alone school on Migingo, but women collaborate to take care of each other's children. 

Sharon, 6, walks in front of handcuffs used by the Kenyan police to detain suspected criminals. 

“I found my

purpose here.

- Ismael Osodo, priest and doctor

Osodo, 70, is the only priest and doctor on Migingo Island, where he has been living for the last 12 years.  

 

Odama Elikaha (left) and Neema Amos pose for a portrait outside of the cafe where they work as waitresses.

Esther Kadogo runs the Malo Malo Bar on Migingo, one of the most popular bars on the island. Almost every night she has to physically kick out a fisherman who drank a bit too much. 

A man descends the rocky edges of Migingo to take a bath. 

Ekiring David, a Ugandan police officer, poses for a portrait on the steep slopes of Migingo Island. 

David Wangombe, a Kenyan police officer, reads a book about the former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in his bedroom on Migingo Island.

A Kenyan marine policeman runs on Ugingo Island, with Migingo in the background. Ugingo has poor lake access, so only the marine police live on the island.