NEGOTIATIONS ONGOING

EAC to end fishing restrictions on Lake Victoria, says Ababu

Move will end persistent harassment of Kenyan fishermen in the hands of Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities.

In Summary

• The CAS said presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, John Magufuli  (Tanzania) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) support movement of goods and people from one country to another.

• “The ministry is hopeful the conversations will bear fruit. The three leaders from the region have expressed support for the initiative,” Ababu said.

MP Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Foreign Affairs CAS Ababu Namwambwa and other leaders admire ornaments made by Homa Bay youths during World Youth Day celebrations at Homa Bay High School on August12.
MP Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Foreign Affairs CAS Ababu Namwambwa and other leaders admire ornaments made by Homa Bay youths during World Youth Day celebrations at Homa Bay High School on August12.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

 The government is negotiating with regional leaders to end fishing restrictions on Lake Victoria, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba has said.

Ababu said the move will end persistent harassment of Kenyan fishermen in the hands of Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities.

The CAS said presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, John Magufuli  (Tanzania) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) support movement of goods and people from one country to another.

“The ministry is hopeful the conversations will bear fruit. The three leaders from the region have expressed support for the initiative,” Ababu said.

He spoke on Monday at Homa Bay High School during the International Youth Day celebrations. 

He said the leaders from the three East African states are expected to make fishing on the lake free for their citizens.

The CAS said that movement of fish is not restricted from waters of one country to another in Lake Victoria hence fishermen too should work freely.

“Fish do not require a passport or visa to move from waters of one country to another. We should therefore not restrict our fishermen from seeking livelihoods in the lake,” he said.

He said the leaders want to comply with regulations of the East African Community which require sharing of resources.

“Kenya has a smaller portion of Lake Victoria but research shows that it is where breeding of fish takes place in the lake. If we erect a wall on our waters then our neighbours will suffer as well,” he said.

MPs Millie Odhiambo (Suba North)  and  Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) called on the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to provide patrol boats on Lake Victoria.

Millie said that the patrol boats will cushion fishermen from harassment by pirates.

“Parliament has already passed a budget. I appeal to the CS to provide patrol boats to protect our fishermen from the tribulations,” she said.

(edited by O. Owino)