NGO donates Sh6 million equipment to female fisher folk

Business Counties Editor's Pick Homa-Bay

As the country is facing hard economic times, Non-Governmental Organizations have embarked on empowering women fisher folks within Suba North Sub-County by donating equipment worth millions of shillings to boost their fishing activities.

Echo Network Africa (ENA) in partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) came in to offer support to four women groups practising fish farming along the beaches of Lake Victoria.

The donation including fish cages, engine boats, refrigerators and solar lights were presented to the women groups operating in Litare, Mrongo, Kaugege and Wakula beaches.

Speaking at Litare Beach during the donation exercise, ENA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jeniffer Riria said the programme mainly aims at upscaling aquaculture in a bid to ensure financial independence of women in the region.

“We want to ensure that our women get exactly what they have worked for, without depending on anybody nor facing intimidations from the middle-men,” said Riria.

She stated that they are also focused on saving women from gender-based violence and any form of violations that they have long been subjected to along their line of work.

“We want to liberate these women who have been suffering from human rights violations on the beaches especially from “Jaboya” (middle-men) who coerce them to “sex for fish businesses,” Rira stated.

She reiterated that their organization plans on collaborating with the county government to assist them with more resources that will supplement the equipment donated, adding that the women still need more cages to facilitate their fish farming project.

The CEO said that the women have also been trained on value addition, financial literacy and the technical aspect of the machines courtesy of ENA and MEDA so that they can understand the importance of investing.

On the same note, Walter Tinega, the market systems specialist at MEDA, said that each organization, ENA and MEDA, contributed 50 percent of the total cost of the equipment which was worth sh. 6 Million.

He added that they do not only give equipment, but also prepare the beneficiaries on the technical know-how of the machines for financial gains.

Jack Obonyo, a representative from the Homa Bay County Governor’s office lauded the organizations for the good work they initiated which he said will offer job opportunities to the residents.

He said that the governor is concerned about the beach issues and they will organize how the valuable machines can be efficiently safeguarded.

“From our observation, the machines donated to us are not safe due to the poor conditions of the current store being used to keep them,” said Obonyo.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, the chairperson Litare fish farmers, Esther Auma Otieno, appreciated this move saying that they will no longer depend on the middle-men who previous harassed them both sexually and financially.

By Brian Odhiambo and Sitna Omar

 

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