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Youths benefit from multi-million fish project

A total of 1000 youths from Amukura Central Ward in Teso South Sub County are direct beneficiaries of a Sh60 million Kamarinyang’ fish-ponds project sponsored by the World Bank.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong speaks at Kamarinyang’ in Amukura Central Ward in Teso South Sub County after touring Kamarinyang’ fish-ponds project sponsored by the World Bank. Photo by Melechezedeck Ejakait

The project which is a joint venture between the Busia County government and the World Bank through Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Programme (KCSAP), is aimed at cushioning the youths from the negative socio-economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Kamarinyang’ labour-intensive project, 1000 youths are engaged in the construction of 100 ponds with each pocketing a stipend of Sh5, 000.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the project, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong urged the 200 youths who received their stipend to shun leisure and plough back the money on fast-income generating activities.

“Apart from offering job opportunities to the youth and women, the aqua park aggregated project is aimed at increasing fish production, boast farmers’ incomes, create employment at the grassroots and alleviate poverty,” he noted.

Ojaamong said besides the economic benefits, the project would also offer training to farmers on new technologies in fish production. He appealed to the community to embrace the project and expand it by constructing individual ponds in their farms.

The Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi disclosed that already, 50 ponds have been excavated and once complete, the project would spur economic development of the area noting that besides the economic benefits to farmers, fish has a nutritious value.

He said similar projects were going on in other parts of the county and that so far, 100 aggregated ponds have been constructed at Bukani (Bunyala Sub County), 70 at Katelenyang (Teso South Sub County), 70 at Siunga (Butula Sub County) and over 200 fish cages in
Lake Victoria in Bunyala Sub County.

Fish cages in Lake Victoria in Busia County. Photo by Melechezedeck Ejakait

The County Fisheries Director Timothy Odende said the project is a milestone geared towards bringing development to the grassroots.

“Each pond is expected to produce 300 kilograms with 100 ponds set to produce 30 tons. The County government is targeting to increase fish yields to Sh1billion by 2022 with a desire to take the lead in the country in fish production.

“Other benefits accompanying the pond construction include fencing of the fish ponds, availing nets to protect fish and construction of a building for installation of cold storage facilities and a restaurant,” he stated.

The World Bank sponsored fish value-chain development project targets over one million youths from the lake region with an aim of cushioning them against the negative impact of Coronavirus pandemic.

The project dubbed ‘jobless lives matter,’ is being implemented in the counties of Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Kakamega and engages the youths who mostly lost their jobs and sources of livelihood in aquaculture and other areas along the fish value chain.

Respective county governments are hence supposed to harness resources to promote fish farming, establish fish markets and develop fish value chain to create job opportunities for the youth.

By Melechezedeck Ejakait

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