The Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Security Committee of Homa-Bay County Assembly has recommended that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the County government and a private investor in February 2006 must be reviewed.
This came after a petition was received from Kaksingri West Development Forum complaining that fish cages which were erected by Victory Farm along Rowo and Gingo beaches have obstructed their movement.
The MCA for Homa-Bay Central Ward who is also the Chairman of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Security in the County Assembly, Julius Nyambok said that the complaint forced the committee to summon its members and the farm owner to the County Assembly to seek for a solution.
Nyambok said that the development forum claimed that the fishermen could not freely move around especially while going to Mfangano Island as the two cages had blocked the paths.
He said this on Wednesday while addressing the press at the County Assembly where he added that the Committee went on a fact finding mission where they interacted with the residents to get their opinion about the fish cages.
The Chairman added that despite the complaint raised by the Development Forum, the residents were against the removal of the cages claiming that they were of benefit to them as 296 people had been employed and 465 more were still to be employed to work in the cages.
During the visit to the cages, the Committee was accompanied by the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Aguko Juma who promised to involve marine surveyors to assist in ascertaining the acreage.
Nyambok added that the farm owner had entered an agreement with the County Government on July 29, 2016 to take only 361 hectares of the total water coverage of 1900 hectares and the farm owner had been given one month to upgrade the MOU.
The committee Chair said that they had plans for conducting a public participation awareness in Ndhiwa and Kaksingri West in July after which they will reduce the size of the cages to allow adequate space for boats to freely pass through.
He added that from the agreement, the investor was to construct all weather roads, offer scholarships to residents of Kaksingri West to specialize in fish caging, construct a primary school and employ the area residents in senior positions which are issues that must be reviewed.
By Davis Langat/Anjeline Adisa