Turkana fish factory to be rehabilitated
Thursday, May 08, 2003
The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya)
The government plans to revive Kalokol fish processing plant on Lake Turkana. Cooperative Development Minister Peter Ndwiga directed officials from his ministry to prepare a report about how the project can start operating again.
He asked area residents to manage donor-funded projects responsibly as they belonged to them. He promised to table a new Cooperative Bill in Parliament aimed at sealing loopholes in the management of cooperatives.
The minister told fishermen that the government would ensure that the entire lake and its environs are secure to allow fishing to flourish. On middlemen, the minister said the government was exploring more markets for local products to enable residents earn more profits. He added that an abattoir would be set up in the area for the residents' livestock.
Speaking at the same function, area MPs Francis Ewoton, Ekwee Ethuro and Assistant Water Minister John Munyes appealed to the government to write off debts owed by the fishermen's cooperative society.
They also asked for help to repair fish storage facilities and restore the fishermen cooperative's monopoly in fishing on the lake.
Mr Munyes said his ministry was discussing with the Ethiopian Government on the possibility of tapping water from River Omo for irrigation. He said such farming would diversify the community's economic base, adding that more boreholes and water pans would be dug in the district to increase water sources.
Earlier, Turkana District Commissioner Njenga Miiri noted that the residents have limited resources for their survival. He said if fishing was re-organised, it could have a positive economic impact which would reduce the residents' dependence on relief food.
The minister was accompanied by his permanent secretary, Mr Benjamin Sogomo, and the Rift Valley Provincial Co-operative Officer, Mr Stanley Ongeti.