FACT-FINDING

MPs want state to buy patrol boats to boost security in Lake Victoria

A BMU official wants MPs to harmonise laws governing fishing in Lake Victoria to reduce conflict with other countries

In Summary

• The BMU official told the MPs to harmonise laws governing fishing in Lake Victoria to reduce conflict among East African countries that share the water body.

• Kaunya said they are going to present the concerns in Parliament.

MPs Oku Kaunya (Teso Noth), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) and Homa Bay county commissioner Moses Lilan in Homa Bay
MPs Oku Kaunya (Teso Noth), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) and Homa Bay county commissioner Moses Lilan in Homa Bay
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
Homa Bay BMU chairman Edward Oremo hands over document with their grievances to Teso North MP Oku Kaunya as other MPs Peter Kaluma, Peter Masara and Aduma Owur of Nyakach look on on October 8, 2021
Homa Bay BMU chairman Edward Oremo hands over document with their grievances to Teso North MP Oku Kaunya as other MPs Peter Kaluma, Peter Masara and Aduma Owur of Nyakach look on on October 8, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
The Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security team leader Oku Kaunya speaks during a fact-finding mission on security and safety issues in Lake Victoria in Homa Bay town on October 8, 2021
The Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security team leader Oku Kaunya speaks during a fact-finding mission on security and safety issues in Lake Victoria in Homa Bay town on October 8, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

A parliamentary team wants the government to purchase patrol boats to boost security and safety in Lake Victoria.

The Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security argued that users of Lake Victoria, including fishermen and passengers, face a lot of security and safety challenges.

The MPs included Oku Kaunya (Teso North), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Rosa Buyu (Kisumu Woman Rep), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach) and Peter Masara (Suna West).

The MPs were on a fact-finding mission in Homa Bay Town constituency on Friday. 

The MPs mission followed the death of 10 people who died after a boat capsized on September 21 this year at Pier Beach in Homa Bay. They visited pier beach.

Kaluma and Homa Bay county commissioner Moses Lilan hosted the committee members.

Homa Bay Beach Management Units chairman Edward Oremo said lack of the boats leads to delay in response to emergencies by authorities.

“Frequent presence of security officials will enhance response to emergencies and prevent Kenyan fishermen from getting harassed by foreign countries’ security officials in the lake,” Oremo said.

The BMU official told the MPs to harmonise laws governing fishing in Lake Victoria to reduce conflict among East African countries that share the water body.

For instance, Uganda outlawed fishing using solar lamps while the practice is legal in Kenya. 

“I appeal to MPs to ensure we have common laws governing fishing in Lake Victoria to reduce cases of conflicts between Kenyan fishermen and security officers from Uganda and Tanzania. We should stop the frequent arrests and hefty fines,” Oremo added.

Kaunya said they are going to present the concerns in Parliament.

“We have heard a lot of grievances from stakeholders of Lake Victoria. We are going to table them in Parliament for adoption,” he said.

KMA inspector for Nyanza and Western regions Jeremiah Onyango said the government will soon issue fishing and passenger boats with numbers plates for easy management.

Edited by A.N

Nyanza and Western KMA inspector Jeremiah Onyango presents a document to MP Oku Kaunya of what they want to do to enhance security and safety in Lake Victoria on October 9, 2021
Nyanza and Western KMA inspector Jeremiah Onyango presents a document to MP Oku Kaunya of what they want to do to enhance security and safety in Lake Victoria on October 9, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
MPs Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) and Oku Kaunya (Teso North ) at Pier beach in Homa Bay town on October 8, 2021
MPs Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) and Oku Kaunya (Teso North ) at Pier beach in Homa Bay town on October 8, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO