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Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused ‘Africa’s Smallest War’

Even though this looks like a pile of trash floating in the ocean, it’s actually much more than that. This is Migingo Island, a tiny rock island on Lake Victoria in Africa. It is less than half an acre or about half the size of a football field. Although tiny in size, the island is home to 131 people (according to 2009 census), though The National place it around 500, living in crammed huts made of corrugated sheets and wood. The reason why is that the fishing is so good there.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

This is the tiny island of Migingo where 131 fisherman live.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

The rich stock of Nile Perch in the waters around Migingo Island has led to territorial dispute between the two countries – Uganda and Kenya, both of which lay claim to the island. This led to being dubbed “Africa’s smallest war.”

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia
Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

Trouble started on the island when pirates first heard that fishermen were making $300 a day, which was approximately three or four times what many people in East Africa earn in an entire month on dry land, they flocked to the island and stole fish, cash and engines.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

More than 100 boats bring in their catch every morning to this little island for weighing, then they sell it to buyers. After fish processing firms buy what they need, the fish is transported to the Kenyan mainland.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

Interestingly, there is a much larger island called using just 200 meters to the east of Migingo Island that remains uninhabited.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

Kenyans and Ugandans now share the space that is less than half the size of a football field.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

It’s in the middle of Lake Victoria and it’s packed.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Business Insider

The tiny island has four pubs, a hair salon, a pharmacy and several brothels.

Tiny Over-Crowded Island Is Home To 131 Inhabitants And Caused 'Africa's Smallest War'
Wikipedia

Even though no one technically owns it, people have made it their home.

H/T

Entry permits and taxes were introduced on fishermen that hoped to cash in on the newly discovered fishing grounds. Boats and fishing nets belonging to Kenyan fishermen are regularly confiscated by Ugandan forces for fishing on Uganda’s territorial waters.

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