Lamu county is Kenya’s former coast province and the county’s headquarters is Lamu town. It has a population of 101,539 as per the 2009 census but the number has increased by now.
The county has very rich Swahili architecture which attracts very many tourists from different parts of the world. It is one of the regions that boost the economy of the coastal region.
The United Nations recently declared the county as a World Heritage Site and plans are underway to put up another port in the county.
The main economic activity of the residents of this county is fishing. There are many rich fish species in the county and 40 grounds which produce 1500 metric tonnes annually.
This production is considered as being very low since the region portray greater potential than that. The low production rate is caused by poor methods of fishing. The low catch is due to lack of sufficient investment in the county, technology and fishing vessels and methods.
Fishing in Lamu county need to be turned into a commercial operation and this can also be achieved through using more effective fishing methods and vessels. the fishes need to be equipped with larger vessels and better technology.
The fishing industry is the major economic back bone in the county. 75 per cent of communities in Lamu depend on fishing either directly or indirectly. This happens to be a very great opportunity for investors to take over the fishing industry in the county.
A cold storage facility and an ice plant can be put up in the county to help in the storage of fish. A fish processing industry and a training center can also be an area to invest into.
Since there is a port in the county, this makes it an advantage in terms of exporting the already processed fish. The people practicing fishing need modern fishing facilities so as to increase their yields.
Basic training is needed for the fishers on using the modern methods of fishing and they have to be enlightened on the benefit of technology in fishing. Most of them still cling to the traditional methods of fishing.
Article by Vera Shawiza.