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Kisumu residents decry soaring fish prices

14 November 2013, 08:35 Oduor Omondi

Kisumu - The price of fish in Kisumu has lately increased by at least 40% in what fishermen attribute to a shortfall of supply.

Fishmongers at Lwang’ni beach said the demand out stretched the supply after the hyacinth weed chocked the lake thus hampering fishing in Lake Victoria.

They also expressed concern over the rampant harassment and detention of Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan security officers in Migingo Island as further aggravating the problem.

In the meantime, due to the prohibitive prices, locals have now resorted to eating the relatively inexpensive fish left-overs commonly referred to as “mgongowazi”.

“It has all to do with the forces of demand and supply, fish is getting scarce each day due to water hyacinth that hinders breeding of fish and continued harassment of Kenyan fishermen by Uganda security officers," said Joseph Ayal of Lwang’ani Beach, on the offshores of Lake Victoria.

Ayal revealed that the cost of a 3kg tilapia had increased from KES 1,000 to KES 1,500 representing a 40% increment within a period of 12 months.

He noted that consumption of tilapia had dropped significantly and that consumers preferred the less expensive species such as Nile Perch and dagaa (omena).

Jane Amondi, a fish monger at Oile market said most of the fish sold at the market is comes from Uganda through Busia border.

“Kisumu residents should be the first people to enjoy fish from Lake Victoria. It’s so unfortunate that middlemen have hiked prices to a level residents cannot afford," she said, adding that the situation had made them to seek for the commodity from the neighboring Uganda.

Fish dealers now want the county government to regulate fish business for the interest of consumers.

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