Between the months of September and November last year, fish farmers in Kisumu County incurred massive loses after thousands of tones of fish died in cages in Lake Victoria.The fish farmers were in tears as they buried the dead tilapia fish in graves around the beaches. It was one of the devastating scenes ever witnessed in Lake Victoria’s fisheries sector.
As the fishermen rued the tragedy, Kisumu Governor, Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o ordered investigations into cause of the fish deaths. The County Government of Kisumu moved with speed to help minimize the
loses by helping fish farmers to get urgent markets for the fish that had not been infected.
A Multi-Agency Team (MAT) bringing together experts from the County and National governments was formed to investigate the catastrophe. It was discovered that Low oxygen level was the main cause of fish kills either in cages or in the wild – emanating from decomposition of organic matter/pollutants due to increased nutrient enrichment within the lake or from land, among other causes.
The loss due to fish kills within the county was estimated at Kshs. 884,814,000. The highest losses were experienced by Kentila Farms and Lake Aqua Ltd at Kshs. 200,400, 000 and 138,000,000, respectively. Unfortunately, both are in Ogal beach.
Out of the 8 landing beaches reported to have experienced fish deaths in the county, Ogal had the highest number of cage farmers who were affected, accounting for 85% of the loses.
Devastated by the massive loses and the socio-economic aftermath, Governor Nyong’o announced his government will donate fingerlings and fish feed to the affected fish farmers to help them restock the emptied cages.
On Tuesday, March 11, 2023, Governor Nyong’o drove to Ogal Beach to fulfil his promise for a stimulus plan.
The Governor, accompanied by the County CECM for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries , Mr Ken Onyango, Chief Officer John Likoko and many other leaders sailed into the lake to distribute 200,000 fingerlings and 5,000 kilograms of Fish feed to the fish farmers.
It was song and dance as the beach community praised the County team for the interventions.
“We have come here today to fulfil our promise to the Ogal beach Community. We have listened to the fisher folks and noted their needs. I was personally touched by what the beach community went through. It was a terrible economic set back,” said the Governor.
He added: “We shall ensure, through capacity building that the fishermen followed the guidelines while putting up the cages to prevent a repeat of the tragedy,” said the Governor.
He continued: “We shall also look for partners to put up fish feed factories to help lower the prices because the fishermen currently get the feeds from Uganda.
We shall also explore ways of putting up coolers in our beaches and to improve roads serving the beaches.”
The Governor was also accompanied by the CECM for Education, innovation and Technical Training, John Awiti, his Infrastructure colleague Salmon Orimba, MCAs, Chief Officers and Sub County and ward Administrators.
The Chairman of the Ogal Beach Management Unit, Mr Moses Owino, praised the government for keeping his promised to the Ogal beach Community.
“The Governor has made us proud today. He has fulfilled his promise. He has given us fresh hope in fish caging business,” said Mr Owino
The CECM for infrastructure said plans were underway to improve all roads and bridges leading to various beaches in Kisumu West sub county.
Ogal beach in pictures