Starving villagers seek help, condemn ban on night fishing

Ishakani village.
Ishakani village.

More than 300 residents of the Lamu-Somalia border village of Ishakani in Lamu East are facing starvation and water shortage.

The residents, mostly fishermen, are blaming the night fishing ban for their problems. It was imposed several years ago as a security measure to counter terrorism and other crime.

Residents say the many families are poor since fishing is their major source of livelihood and night fishing is best.

Village elder Ahmed Islam yesterday said villagers have been reduced to beggars who rely on well wishers and donors for survival. They haven’t received any help for several months, he said.

The community is now appealing for help, mostly food and water.

“We are a hungry village. Ours has been a life of begging for survival ever since the night fishing ban came in force,” resident Guracho Lali said.

They have accused the county government of neglect.

The ban was supposed to be lifted in May 2017 but residents say it has’t happened and they still are harassed.