Kisumu County government has established a fish cold storage facility at Jubilee fresh fish market built at a cost of Sh10 million, a milestone achievement in the fishing sector aimed at cushioning fishmongers from post-harvest losses.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o while commissioning the facility, said it has a capacity of about five tonnes capable of accommodating fresh fish from the County and across the lake region, positioning Kisumu as a hub for blue economy and trade.
The County Director for Fisheries Susan Odhiambo during an exclusive interview with KNA highlighted that the facility is set to prevent fish traders from post-harvest losses by increasing the shelf life of the harvested fish, awaiting their market sales.
“Initially, fishmongers faced huge losses as a result of the fish spoilage due to high temperatures and lack of a fish cold facility that ought to cushion them from unnecessary damages hence,” Odhiambo stated, adding, the rate of spoilage is estimated to reduce by 80 per cent, thereby, increasing the revenue stream.
The cold room, she noted, will handle different types of fish such as tilapia, Nile perch as well as mudfish and provide job opportunities to the locals for example technical managers, cleaners and transporters.
A committee whose membership is drawn from the Department of Environment, Water and City Management would oversee the running of the facility to make it sustainable.
The Director observed that although the fresh fish market was designed to handle around 65 traders, the number has increased to around 250 due to the closure of Oile Market, making it overcrowded.
Odhiambo urged the fishmongers to invest in cages stationed in the lake to improve fish production, eliminate illegal fishing and harvesting of undersized fish.
Additionally, she called upon them to find a working solution which will bring harmony with fishmongers from other counties like Turkana, Busia, and Naivasha among others.
Jackeline Nyaboro, a fishmonger at the Jubilee Market expressed her enthusiasm about the commissioning, saying that she will make more profits than losses as compared to the previous days.
“I am happy that the County Government has listened to our pleas. We hope to make a profit and join SACCOs which will boost our creditworthiness enabling us to take loans and invest more in our fish business,” said Nyaboro.
By Becky Galyns and Joseph Otieno