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Water hyacinth halts fishing

26 February 2013, 17:14 Oduor Omondi

Fishermen plying their trade at Rakwaro and Sangorota beaches in Nyakach District, Kisumu County, have asked the government to find a lasting solution to the water hyacinth menace in Lake Victoria.

Led by their chairman Joseph Onyango, the fishermen said they have not been able to carry out fishing activities and transportation in Lake Victoria owing to water hyacinth, which has trapped canoes, ships and polluted water in some of the beaches.

Trapped in the Lake for a week

Onyango stated that some of the fishermen have in the recent past been trapped in the  Lake for as long as a week.

He said the government has on many occasions been forced to send rescue teams to save fishermen trapped and marooned by the weed.

Impoverished by the weed

“We have also been impoverished even further by the weed, considering that fishing has been the main source of our livelihood,” Onyango argued, urging development partners to work closely with the government to tackle it.

He also pointed out that as a result of this, most fishermen have opted to abandon the economic activities for other more reliable business ventures until when the weed gets cleared or brought to manageable levels.

Onyango disclosed that fishermen have now taken to sand harvesting, pointing out that it has proved more lucrative than fishing which has been among the leading foreign income earners for Kenya.

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