A team of Kenya Coast Guard officers has launched a joint operation to recover the bodies of three youths who drowned during an illegal fishing expedition on Lake Naivasha last Saturday.
The trio who were among a group of five are said to have drowned after their makeshift boat capsized following strong winds which swept the area.
According to Naivasha Fisheries Officer Nicholas Kagundu, a team of specialized officers from the Kenya Coast Guard unit have joined area residents in the search mission to retrieve the three bodies.
Kagundu regretted the rise of drowning incidences at the troubled lake, which he attributed to a section of youths who continue to venture into the lake to carry out the lucrative but illegal fishing.
The latest fatal incident comes barely two weeks after two youths drowned near Kihoto estate while on an illegal fishing mission on the shores of the lake.
Kagundu said his office has launched a coordinated effort to retrieve the bodies of the three even as strong winds sweeping across the freshwater body continue to pose a challenge.
The fisheries officer decried the high number of drowning cases in the lake adding that there was a need to sensitize the youths from areas surrounding the lake on the dangers of engaging in illegal fishing activities.
According to the Lake Naivasha Boat Association secretary Grace Nyambura, there’s a need for Nakuru County to diversify economic activities on the lake including fish tourism noting that this will reduce pressure on fishing.
Nyambura added that the County had recently registered 80 more groups to accommodate more youths to reduce illegal fishing activities which continues to pose a great threat to the lake and its ecosystem.
She said the association is concerned over the increase in cases of minors who have joined illegal fishing and is calling on relevant government agencies to intervene.
In order to reduce pressure on the lake and tackle illegal fishing that has afflicted the water body, Nakuru County suspended night fishing, an order which is still in effect to date.
The National Government at the same time deployed a team of officers from the Kenya Coast Guard Unit who have since been lauded by the fishing fraternity for bringing sanity to the lake.
By Erastus Gichohi