Turkana, Tuesday, January 23, 2018 KNA
The County Government of Turkana plans to fully exploit the economic potential of Lake Turkana in an effort to boost the living standards of residents whose livelihoods depend on the lake.
In a meeting today with officials from the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Deputy Governor (DG) Peter Lotethiro said development of the lake was part of the County Government’s plan to put Turkana on the map as a force in regional interaction and business.
He revealed plans to establish fish farms in the lake to revamp the fisheries industry, marketing as a tourist destination the lake that connects Turkana with Ethiopia as well as neighbouring Marsabit County, and promote maritime investment in the lake.
“Lake Turkana is an important resource for us and the aim is to make fishing more viable through fish farming and find ways to regulate fishing activities. On tourism the lake has three islands and we want Kenyans to come here through local tourism arrangement and enjoy activities such as boat racing without polluting the lake,” the Deputy Governor said.
The Authority was established to regulate the maritime industry in Kenya and is the body responsible for safety and security within the Kenya water bodies.
The delegation led by Director Major General (Rtd) and Head of Maritime Authority Capt. Dave Muli presented a report to the Deputy Governor on the study done by KMA aimed at unlocking the potential of Lake Turkana and open it up for water transport as well as exploitation of other resources.
“Lake Turkana is one of the most violent lakes, we want to make sure that our waters are safe. The report has given proposals on safety for fishermen and other people using the lake,” Capt. Muli said.
He informed the DG that that KMA would put up an office in Kalokol to work alongside Regional Office in Lodwar, promising to deliver a safety boat to the County within four weeks.
County Executive (CEC) for Agriculture Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Chris Aletia said the County would put in place measures to ensure sustainable fishing, and promised that the Ministry would collaborate with the Authority in all programs.
CEC for Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Emathe Namuar said Beach Management Units (BMUs) set up in all entry points along the lake would be important in KMA’s activities such as safety training so as to end deaths witnessed in the past due to poor safety measures.
On her part, County Executive for Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Jennifer Nawoi said development of water transport within Lake Turkana would open trade between Marsabit and Turkana counties.
She said safety concerns had contributed to the few number of tourists in the lake and expressed hope that once addressed the number would rise.
Photo captions by Peter Gitonga
County Executive Committee member for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Chris Aletia who says the County will put in place measure to ensure sustainable fishing in Lake Turkana.