By Nancy Juma
The County Government has moved in with speed to rescue over 3700 fisherfolks who have suffered massive losses following mysterious death of fish stock along Lake Victoria.
While addressing the press at his City Hall Office, Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o confirmed on-going reports of mass death of fish and foul smell from the water mass around Winam Gulf as a result of the adverse effects of Climate Change.
To help cage fish farmers restock and recover the losses, Governor Nyong’o expressed that the County will procure fingerings worth Kshs. Two million and fish feeds at a cost of Kshs. One million to be distributed to the affected farmers in selected beaches.
Areas affected include Kisumu East, Kisumu West and Seme Sub Counties with cage fish farmers operating along Othany beach in Seme Sub County suffering massive losses estimated at Kshs. 40 million. Other areas also affected include the Pier area, Usoma, Genge, Dunga among others.
The County has also kicked off a multisectoral approach to help address Lake and Environmental pollution.
” We want to engage stakeholders on how to save Lake Victoria. This initiative will be championed by the County Department of Water and Environment”. Said Nyong’o
Already, the County is engaging with other experts and a fact finding mission has been undertaken by Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute ( KMFRI) in collaboration with other government agencies.
Findings from the mission indicate that the happenings could be emanating from the effects of Climate Change and is affecting counties along the Lake and the East African countries of Uganda and Tanzania. The deaths have also been attributed to sedimentation of organic materials and nutrients in the lake, water hyacinth deposits and algae blooming.
To avoid further pollution, the Governor appealed to fish farmers to ensure proper and scientific disposal of the dead fish. He went ahead and instructed those mandated with environmental safety and safeguards to round up and prosecute individuals and owners of factories polluting the water bodies.
He called upon environmental officers to tighten surveillance to ensure compliance by local authorities proposing tougher legislation both in the National and County Assembly to deal with environmental pollution.
Kisumu enjoys over Kshs. 318 million proceeds from fish production annually supporting supporting over 80, 000 households. Kisumu’s economy could be heavily affected 8f the situation persists.