Kisumu county government has pledged to offer 3 million shillings fingerings and feeds to cage fish farmers in Lake Victoria who lost their fish in the last few weeks over fish deaths.
According to Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong’o, fish deaths in the region have claimed investors losses estimated at 40 million shillings in Othaya beach alone. All the affected farmers in the area including those in the Pier, Usoma, Genge, and Dunga, among other beaches, will procure fingerings worth 2 million shillings and feeds worth 1 million shillings, a move that is aimed at cushioning farmers from massive losses.
Most fish deaths in lake Victoria have been attributed to pollution of the lake by the local industries. The Kisumu boss instructed officers at the department of environment to tighten surveillance to ensure compliance by local industries.
“As we count the losses, I appeal to the fish farmers to ensure proper and scientific disposal of the dead fish to avoid further pollution, and I wish to issue fresh instructions to entities mandated with environmental safety and safeguards to round up and prosecute individuals and owners of factories polluting our water bodies. I propose that it was high time we came with tougher legislations both in the National and County Assemblies to deal with Environmental pollution,’’ he said.
Nyong’o regretted the massive loss incurred by cage farmers in the region given the important role they play in creating jobs in the region and supplementing fish supplies in the market. Lake Victoria accounts for over 80 percent of the local fish production.
Data shows the lake was the biggest inland source between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 the lake produced 90.7 percent of the local harvest, a rise from 81.9 percent in 2012.
The food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that Kenya is one of the major countries influencing global prices for freshwater fish. But Taiwan, Honduras, and the US control 99 percent of the market for tilapia, which Kenya imports the most, according to local fisheries data. FAO estimates that Kenya can produce 14 million tons of fish a year with a value of 50 billion shillings.