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Migingo is a tiny rock island, less than half-an-acre or about half the size of a football field, located in Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the largest tropical lake in the world. Although tiny in size, the island is home to 131 people (according to 2009 census) living in crammed huts made of corrugated sheets and wood. Despite shabby living conditions, Migingo Island boasts of five bars, a beauty salon, a pharmacy as well as several hotels and numerous brothels.

Most of island’s inhabitants are fishermen and fish traders. The first to arrive were two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe, who claimed to have settled there in 1991. At that time, the island was covered with weeds and infested with birds and snakes. They were later joined by 60 members of their fishing group who followed after receiving information that the area was rich with Nile Perch. Subsequently, other fishermen from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania came to the island turning it into a thriving commercial center.

migingo-island-5

Photo by Jesco Denzel

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© Amusing Planet, 2013.


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