Kenyan county government boosts fishing sector with US$2.3m financing

KENYA – The Coastal county of Kenya, Mombasa is set to receive a major boost in its fish industry with the county government planning to spend sh.250m (US$2.3m) to improve the sector as highlighted in the county’s 2020/21 budget proposal.

The funds will be used to acquire fishing boats worth sh.120m (US$1.125m), construct a 100 tonne cold storage facility with sh.80m (US$750,000) and set up a sh.20m (US$187,600) modern fish market.

The county will also spend Sh12 million (US$1122,600) to construct modern fish stalls and a meeting hall at landing sites in all the sub counties with another Sh6 million (US$56,300) spent on construction of fish ponds, reports Business Daily.

At least 44 landing sites will be refurbished at a cost of Sh10 million (US$93,800) once the budget is approved.

According to the reports, the project is aimed at increasing fish production, boosting food security and creating more employment opportunities for women and youth.

The acquisition and rehabilitation of the sites will be done in collaboration with the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

Many landing sites in Mombasa have been grabbed by private developers with efforts by the fishermen to recover them hitting a snag.

Since last year, both the national and county governments have been on a mission to recover them with the Mombasa administration announcing that it had made a “breakthrough” in the move.

Apart from the fishing gears and the construction of necessary facilities, the county government says it will spend Sh5 million (US$46,900) to coordinate all the county’s blue economy activities.

The move comes following the Kenyan government receiving a Ksh10 billion (US$93.65m) concessional loan from the World Bank aimed to improve governance and management of marine fisheries and aquatic resources as well as promote investment in the sector.

The Ksh.10 billion (US$93.65m) investments targets five beneficiary coastal counties i.e. Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu through the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic (KEMFSED) Project.

The project will be officially launched immediately after post-COVID 19 opening either end of June or beginning of July at the Coast in one of the Counties, reports KBC.

The KEMFSED project covers a period of five years and its overall goal is to enhance economic benefits and coastal livelihoods from marine fisheries and coastal aquaculture while safeguarding associated ecosystems’ integrity.

The project targets to move the 13,000 fishermen who are small scale and concentrated in near shore to the deeper waters by building their capacity and training them to venture into the territorial sea and the Exclusive Zones fisheries.

Government will offer low cost loans to encourage investors to purchase deep sea fishing vessels and gears.

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