National Council of Churches officials in Siaya County have faulted Nyanza region leadership for allegedly doing little to promote the fishing industry.
Led by NCCK’s Siaya County coordinating committee chairman, Rt Rev. John Haung Godia, the officials said local leaders had no passion to enhance the marine industry, despite the area being blessed with diverse water masses that can help the country mitigate the shortfall in fish production.
They were speaking at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Siaya town in a meeting that saw the election of new coordinating committee officials.
“Lake Victoria is no longer the last destination for fish production since it had been affected by affluent from industrial waste in major towns including Kisumu. Most indigenous fish have virtually disappeared,” said the church leaders in a statement read by Bishop Godia, who is also the head of the Anglican diocese of Maseno west diocese.
They called on the national and county governments to invest in a master plan that would make Lake Victoria’s auxiliary lakes, Kanyaboli and Sare, a hub for breeding and rearing indigenous fish like Mudfish and catfish.
The clergy said it was high time the two levels of government seized the opportunity to turn the two natural resources into viable economic activity.
The NCCK officials further challenged the government to work out the best formula for exploiting Yala swamp for food production, adding that Siaya County’s food deficit can be well balanced if the locals are helped to harness the potential of the available resources.
The church leaders also challenged Siaya county government to invest in urban planning and development of its urban centres, adding that the county was in a sorry state. “The council is calling upon the leadership of the county government to invest in physical planning of all its urban centres, creating access roads, sewerage connections and public utilities. We cannot boast of development without corresponding planning for urban centres,” they said.
Bondo ACK diocese bishop, Rt. Rev. Professor David Kodia who was in the team called on the local politicians to stop engaging in dirty campaigns, adding that violence that had been witnessed in the county in the recent past was pointer of what the forthcoming general elections would look like if nothing is done to correct the situation.
“Ugly incidents we have witnessed bring us back to the uncivilized era when violence was thought to be the solution to our problems. We appeal to politicians to go slow and give people space to recover from the effects of Covid 19,” said the NCCK officials.
By Philip Onyango