The Nakuru County government has set aside Sh.40 million to start aquaculture farming in Naivasha to help reduce pressure on fishing at Lake Naivasha.
The partnership with small-scale farmers will see farmers, including youth groups trained on how to start the business and assisted to start fish farming in their farms through construction of raised ponds.
The County CEC for Agriculture, Dr. Immaculate Maina said construction of raised ponds would help improve the quality of fish while increasing stocks in the lake.
Maina said the county had already started training farmers on establishment of the ponds and those who have set them up have received fingerlings for their ponds.
She said raised ponds were easier to put up and manage compared to the traditional methods of digging up ponds, adding that the method had proven to provide quality species of fish.
“We are takin farmers for training at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology where we have set up a raised pond for them to see how easy it is to build one,” she said.
The CEC said once the ponds are set up, they will help eradicate the challenge of illegal fishing at the lake as many youth currently engaging in the illegal activity will have meaningful economic activities to engage in.
She said the county was in the process of enhancing the capacity of Lake Naivasha Beach Management Units (BMUs) as one way of protecting the water body.
Maina further said the BMUs will be used to help in fighting illegal fishing that has seen the number of poachers rise and reduced fish production at the fresh water lake.
The CEC who was on a tour of Lake Naivasha, said the county in collaboration with government departments was in the process of carrying out water quality tests to ascertain the salinity levels of the lake before embarking on restocking the popular tilapia species that is on the verge of extinction.
By Esther Mwangi/Brian Kamau