Fish Farming in Kisumu to be Insured, Securing Farmers

Fish farming is a major contributor to the economy of Kisumu County considering that up to 80% of settlers around Lake Victoria rely on the lake as a source of their livelihood. This has however been declining production-wise considering the huge losses incurred with massive deaths of fish in cages a fortnight ago.

The loss of fish in natural death kills in Lake Victoria saw cage farmers lose over Sh1 billion which called for an intervention. Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Salim Mvurya while visiting Asat beach in Seme Sub-County of Kisumu said the government will fast-track the process as efforts to revive fish farming in the country gain momentum.

“A multi-agency team has been constituted to investigate the cause of the fish kills and come up with recommendations on how to address the plight of the affected farmers. A committee chaired by Fisheries Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Francis Owino, is expected to table its findings in two weeks’ time to enable the ministry to come up with a way forward on the matter,” said CS Mvurya.

Urging that there’s to be developed a policy, within which the government will engage insurance companies to develop packages for the fisher folk to ensure that they are compensated when such disasters occur.

To assist the farmers, and restock, the CS said his ministry will provide 500, 000 fingerlings to augment the efforts by the county government which has allocated Sh. 3 million towards the venture.

This financial year, CS revealed the government has allocated funds to build modern fish landing sites at Wichlum beach in Siaya County and Ogal beach in Kisumu county with facilities to be installed cold storage facilities, which he said will go a long way in assisting the farmers to keep their products as they look for markets.

Kisumu governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o lauded the national government for the two projects and support to cage farmers in the area.

“This disaster which has affected 846 households has pushed us to rethink how we manage our fisheries. If we had coolers and storage facilities here this loss could have been averted,” he said.

Where he also expressed the County Government has partnered with Kenya Shipyards Limited (KSL) to manufacture glass fiber boats for fishermen in the area.

“According to data from the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) 5, 400 fishermen from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania drown in the lake annually. This can be changed through the use of modern glass fiber boats which are safe,” he added.

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