Efforts by the Mombasa County to register and empower fishermen through Beach Management Units (BMU) are finally bearing fruit. This follows the announcement that the County Government working with KCB Foundation will be helping the BMU’s to procure fishing vessels with capacity to haul up to to 10 tonnes of fish.
The county has embarked on training on financial management among the BMU members to improve capacity and skills as they prepare to scale up fishing activities in Mombasa. With the new boat, fishermen can now replace their ‘ngalawas’ and their dugout boats with better purpose built vessels that can venture out to the deep sea. Due to the enhanced catch, the BMU’s will create even more jobs in the supply chain from the landing, processing and transportation of the fish.
To the small scale fishermen, the opportunity to scale up their operation is an excellent opportunity to improve livelihood and alleviate poverty. Also working in a group, the fisherman will be able to draw strength and skill in numbers thus improving their chances. Members of the BMU’s have been trained on budget planning and financial management by the county government.
For a start, two 10 ton fishing vessels will be bought and handed over to 2 BMU’s. Notably, the vessels will be built locally further enhancing the local boat making industry to the tune of sh30 million. Rachael Gathoni, KCB Foundation Manager was said.
“We have our own criteria on how we will select the two BMU’s to loan the boat, basically we will focus on the group that has good records doing business and repaying its loans. I urge some young groups to learn from the ones we will give the loan so as to grow and master good practices”
According to to the county government,
“This will go along way into improving the livelihood of our fishermen, promotion of food security in the county as well as improved nutritional levels for our people.”
According to the Lighthouse Foundation,
“ The problem of over-fishing in the shallow coastal waters has been accentuated by the increasing number of fishermen who, because of the lack of alternatives, have been forced to use the simplest types of equipment to earn a living”.
By venturing to the deeper sea, the fishermen allow shallower fishing waters to rejuvenate and replenish stocks.
Currently, the County through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries is making efforts to source for another 13 boats working with partners so that all BMU’s can be gainfully employed.