The National government through the State Department of Shipping and Maritime has partnered with the County government of Homa Bay to set up a rescue Centre in Mbita Town.
State Department of Shipping and Maritime Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu said the rescue centre will assist people using the Lake Victoria in case of accidents.
Addressing the fishermen during the handing over of the land for the construction of the centre to the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Tuesday, the PS said five rescue centres would be set up in the Kenyan side of lake Victoria.
Karigithu noted that apart from Mbita other rescue centres would be established in Witchlum in Siaya, Bukoba in Busia , Sori in Migori county and a regional rescue centre in Kisumu.
She said the Kisumu regional centre will coordinate the centres adding that the Regional Coordinator will be communicating with counterparts in Tanzania and Uganda on any incidents in the lake.
“Rescue centres like this one of Mbita will be communicating with the one in Kisumu in case of any problems in the lake so that people can be rescued,” she added.
She said the project is replication of what was happening on the Indian ocean stressing that whenever someone is in the lake and they encounter problems, they must be assisted in time.
The PS said that the project has four major components including communications network and Lake Victoria Transport Study and Capacity Strengthening.
On his part Homa Bay County Secretary Isiah Ogwe said that the rescue centre will be of great help to the fishermen in that area adding that it will have two boats, Amblulance , Clinic and Communications centre on standby in cases of an emergency.
He revealed that the County Government had given half hectare land for the setting up of the rescue centre and was ready to offer additional land for the project if need arises.
He urged KMA to consider setting up another rescue centre in the county saying that Homa Bay has a vast shoreline of the waters of Lake Victoria. “Home Bay County has over 50 per cent of Lake Victoria waters and I urge KMA to consider setting up another rescue center in Karachunyo for the fishermen there,” Ogwe said
By Davis Langat