New fund to benefit lake women
Monday, October 06, 2003
The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya) by John Oywa
Women fish traders around Lake Victoria are to benefit from a revolving fund aimed at boosting their role in the Sh6 billion industry.
The Women in the Fishing Industry Project (WIFIP) starts next month in four pilot beaches in Nyando, Kisumu and Bondo districts. The managing trustee, Ms Jennipher Kere, said at the weekend that targeted beneficiaries had received microfinance management training.
Ms Kere was speaking at the Kaloka beach in Maseno Division during a field day organised by her organisation to educate the traders on Aids, good fishing and business management.
She was accompanied by Maseno District Officer Peter Koima, project field coordinator Enock Opondo and a British consultant, Ms Beth Allerdice. Mr Koima praised the WIFIP initiative, saying it would reduce gender discrimination in fishing.
But Ms Kere would not disclose the budget, saying only that women would be funded according to their economic strength and management skills.
The Women in the Fishing Industry non-governmental organisation is supported by the International Extension College of the United Kingdom, and has been training women fish traders for some time.
The initiative comes in the wake of concerns about women's role in the lucrative industry.
A report by the Lake Victoria Fisheries Research Project (LVFRP) of Jinja, Uganda, says that women fish traders are marginalised although they form between 70 and 80 per cent of the Lake Victoria traders.
It says women dominate the onshore (post-harvest) sub-sector of the lake's fisheries.