Fishing Communities in Lunga Lunga Sub-County of Kwale are a happy lot after having received a fishing vessel and equipment from the County government.
Deputy Governor (DG), Fatuma Achani, who handed over the equipment to Jimbo and Vanga Beach Management Units (BMUs), said the donations are meant to turn around the fortunes of traditional fishing folks in the Coastal County.
She said the equipment is intended to increase the fishing capacity of the fishermen and improve food security and incomes in the region.
The DG said the equipment will help the local fishermen exploit the vast marine resources in the expansive coastline and to reach deeper where bigger catches are available.
She said the Salim Mvurya led County government is turning its focus on The Blue Economy Sector and will soon be distributing fishing boats with nets and outboard motors, cooler boxes, flares, bond liners, GPS gadgets, life rafts, lifesaving rings and life jacket floats to fishermen in a bid to turn fishing into a profitable venture.
She said the devolved unit’s fresh interventions in the fishing sector seek to improve the livelihoods, nutrition and income of fishing folks.
Achani reckoned that fishing in Kwale needs to be turned into a commercial operation and this can only be achieved through using more effective modern fishing methods and better technology.
She said huge investments are needed to spur oceanic activities along the coastline, noting that fishing has been a lucrative but neglected industry for a longtime.
Achani said the County government through the Fisheries Department to ensure sustainable fishing and to transform the sector by tapping into the abundant sea resources.
Hamisi Msemanga, a Local Fisherman welcomed the County’s empowerment initiative, saying fishing folks are often ill equipped and require proper fishing gear to carry out deep sea fishing activities and improve their lot.
The County government’s intervention comes at a time the European Union (EU) in Kenya last month launched the Climate Smart Agricultural Productivity Project (CSAPP) in Kwale County.
The Sh 650 million CSAPP grant will support Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization’s (KALROs) research and dissemination of climate smart agricultural technologies targeting farmers, pastoralists and fisher folks.
By Hussein Abdullahi