Migori County fisher folks have finally sighed relief following 6 million worth donated to them through the Fisheries and Blue Economy department.

Governor Ochilo Ayacko while donating the equipment at Luanda Konyango Beach, said that the move is among the plans to boost the Blue Economy in the County.

“My administration is determined to ensure that blue economy becomes one of the most developed units within the department by ensuring that we empower fishermen around the County,” said Ochilo.

Among the equipment donated were 400 life jackets, one fish cage for each of the four Beach Management Units (BMU), and three motorbikes for the fisheries extension officers.

The Governor said that the equipment is aimed at solving some of the challenges experienced by the fishermen on Lake Victoria, among the lack of life jackets, putting them at high risk.

“It is our hope that these life jackets that will be distributed among 27 beaches will be vital in saving lives of our people in case of any calamity, hence reducing deaths of fishermen,” he said.

He added that the motorbikes will ensure faster response among the beach managers as well as enhance the faster movement of extension officers.

The Governor, however, underscored the lack of finance for the fisheries and blue economy, making the County governments strain budgets to factor in the departments.

“It is important to note that the fisheries and blue economy have been devolved without resources which limits our ability to render services to our people,” he said.

Ochilo also swore to engage the fisheries and blue economy at the national government to open the cold fish storage at Sori which has not been operational since it was put up.

According to Ayacko, there are also plans to rehabilitate the fish processing plant at Opapo in Rongo Sub County with the intention of resourcing support for the fishing community in the County.

The plan will also capture the need to equip the farmers with fishing technology and business training with the aim of boosting the County revenue from the blue economy.

“We still do not have the prerequisites to make this department attractive, but we plan to engage the national government and other support partners will be a plus for us,” he said.

According to Lucas Mosenda, the County Executive for Agriculture, the fish cages worth 4.8 million will increase fish production, owing to the diminishing fishing grounds due to water hyacinth cover.

“It is my strong belief that the cages will give alternative fishing grounds, reducing the competition among fishers due to reduced grounds due to the hyacinth cover on the lake,” said Mosenda.

The move was lauded by the residents who said that the cages will reduce the distance they cover on the lake looking for fish species which have become extinct.

“We know that the cages will make us revive the fish species that are almost becoming non-existent as well as reducing competition among fishermen,” said George Jared, chairperson of Got Kachola Beach.

The fisher folks however pleaded with the County government to find a way of weeding out water hyacinth which has reduced fishing grounds, which is a major problem.

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