94 farmers who were worst hit by the massive fish deaths in Lake Victoria last year have received fingerlings worth Ksh2 million and fish feeds worth Ksh1 million from the county government of Kisumu.
Speaking at Ogal Beach in Kisumu West, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said the gesture is meant to enable the farmers come out of the disaster that struck them.
He added that the support offered, which is a joint venture between the county and national governments, will be used to out-scale the initiative to other affected beaches.
Nyong’o urged farmers to take care of the lake, which he noted is the biggest human resource within the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB).
“I would like to assure you that my administration will stand with you at all times. We are working on policies that will improve fish farming, especially aquaculture and the Blue Economy in general,” he said.
He revealed that to mitigate the crisis of the death of fish, the county government moved with speed to help fish farmers get urgent and ready markets for the fish that had not been infected.
“The national government joined the battle and a Multi-Agency Team (MAT) headed by the Principal Secretary (PS) for State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries was formed. The team discovered that low oxygen was the main cause of the death of fish with the loss estimated at Ksh884,814,000,” he explained.
Nyong’o said they disposed the decomposing fish and that the affected cage fish farmers were to be assisted to restock by being granted 200,000 fingerlings from the county government and 500,000 from GoK plus fish feeds.
He added that a county team has been constituted to conduct monitoring and surveillance of sources of pollution of the lake.
“We did capacity building for the affected farmers on the best management practices such as best stocking density of fish, certified fish seed (fingerling) distribution, construction and rehabilitation of fish ponds, capacity building in modern aquaculture knowledge and skills and changing of net material at every level of cage fish growth,” he added, pointing out that compensation options were to be embedded in the aquaculture regulations.
By Fredrick Odiero
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