10 June 2014

Kenya: Sh15 Million Boost for Fishing in Lamu East

More than 2,000 fishermen in Lamu East will benefit from a Sh15 million project.

The Kenya Coast Development Project (KCDP) principal fisheries officer Mwaka Barabara said fishermen in the region find it difficult to expand their market.

Mwaka said despite fishing being the major economic activity in Lamu East, the sector has experienced numerous challenges that have made the entire sector struggle.

"In order to raise the state of the fishing industry in Lamu East and the county as a whole, KCDP also plans to offer fishing workshops to the fishermen and expose them to modern fishing and fish preservation methods," he said.

The project is under the umbrella of the World Bank in conjunction with the Kenyan government.

Of the amount, Sh13 million will be used to purchase a 10 tonne-capacity ice plant while Sh2 million will go into the construction of an underground tank, also known as Jabia.

Recent reports indicate that about 20 per cent of fish produced in Lamu East ends up decaying at sea due to a lack of proper preservation.

"KCDP will also sponsor the purchase of freezers that will help them preserve their catch better and for longer," said Mwaka.

He urged fishermen to join or form co-operatives in order to establish a common market. This will enable them to avoid exploitation from middlemen who have been buying their produce at throw-away prices only to sell them at ridiculous profits.

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