- Last week, officers from the two agencies clashed after a group of suspects were arrested in the Lake for alleged illegal fishing on the breeding grounds.
- Nyambura noted that the illegal fishermen were taking advantage of the fallout to freely enter the lake leading to a sharp drop in fish catch.
The joint patrols between Kenya Coast Guards Service (KCGS) and the fisheries department in Lake Naivasha have been suspended following a fallout between the two agencies.
As a result, each of the government agencies is now conducting separate patrols, a move that has seen cases of illegal fishing escalate in the last couple of weeks.
Last week, officers from the two agencies clashed after a group of suspects was arrested in the Lake for alleged illegal fishing on the breeding grounds.
During the incident, the fisheries officers accused the Coast guards of working with the illegal fishermen while the former pointed an accusing finger at the latter for conducting patrols alone.
Earlier, the security committee directed that the fisheries department and the Coast guards conduct joint patrols in the lake to deal with the rising number of illegal fishermen.
Subcounty fisheries officer Nicholas Kagundu downplayed the differences adding that patrols in the lake were going on despite some teething challenges.
He admitted that there had been miscommunications over the patrols adding that this had been addressed by relevant officers and the night patrols were back.
“There were some issues that had been raised by our officers and they are being addressed but the lake is safe and we are conducting patrols on a daily basis,” he said.
However, a senior officer from the Coast guard who declined to be named pointed an accusing finger at the fisheries officers for holding night patrols without involving them.
“We had a meeting with the security committee sometime back and it was agreed that we hold joint patrols but the fisheries department has ignored this,” the officer said.
The chair lady, Naivasha Oloiden fishers’ organisation, Grace Nyambura termed the current impasse as bad adding that it had given the illegal fishermen an opportunity to enter into the lake.
Nyambura noted that the illegal fishermen were taking advantage of the fallout to freely enter the lake leading to a sharp drop in fish catch.
“We are aware of the fallout between the fisheries department and the Coast guards and we are calling on senior government officers to intervene,” she said.
She added that the current situation had been worsened by the ongoing drought which had seen water levels drop by the day, adversely affecting the breeding grounds for the fish.
“Currently no river is flowing into the lake and this could have adverse effects on breeding while some people have encroached on the riparian land wiping out the vegetation,” she said.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)