- This comes Barely a day after the Kisumu county government distributed fish feeds and fingerlings worth Sh3 million to fish farmers in Ogal Beach.
- According to one of the fish farmers George Opande, the death of the fish started on Wednesday but coming Thursday, the situation became worse.
Cage fish farmers in Dunga Beach Kisumu are counting massive losses after fish worth millions mysteriously died.
Over 30 fish cages have been affected by the deaths within Lake Victoria.
This comes Barely a day after the Kisumu county government distributed fish feeds and fingerlings worth Sh3 million to fish farmers in Ogal Beach.
According to one of the fish farmers George Opande, the death of the fish started on Wednesday but coming Thursday, the situation became worse.
Opande said they have a total of 25 fish cages and had done harvesting in only five but unfortunately, they lost all the fish in the 20 cages.
He said each cage has 5000 fish which are of different sizes being sold within the range of Sh 200-300 depending on the size.
"Yesterday when the fish death started, we removed the dead fish from some of the cages and dispossessed them but when we came back today, all the fish from the 20 cages were all dead including the fingerlings, which were only five months old," he said
Opande noted that they have lost a lot and are even fearing to restock because they don't know what more could befall them.
He however claimed that before the tragedy, they witnessed a change in the color of the water within the lake.
The latest one was a water layer coated with something like oil that cut off the fish's oxygen
"We don't have experience, but we suspect that there are chemicals being discharged into the lake, polluting the waters," he said adding that the matter should be looked into by the relevant authorities.
Opende noted that they have never experienced such a thing before even when massive fish deaths were experienced in Ogal Beach, in Dunga.
"We also urge scientists to come in and address this issues and even find out the real course of this."
David Okello Chairman of the Aquaculture Association of Kenya and also the Kisumu fish farmers cooperative society noted that the Lake was very dirty and effluents were also being discharged which is affecting the fish farmers.
Okello noted that it takes a lot of money to put up such an investment and said the incident was unfortunate and a big loss to the fish farmers and efforts to revive fish farming in the area.
He asked the relevant agencies to enforce the relevant laws to protect the lake against pollution.
"We have organizations like Nema, Kisumu County Environment Department, and even the Lake Region Economic Bloc who should come out and help us with this issue of lake pollution. We have policies in place why are they not being implemented," he said.
Okello added that their main source of livelihood is the Lake which millions of people depend on, hence must be protected against such tragedies.
"We asking the governor to come out and even engage his team so that they can find adequate ways of protecting and conserving the lake."
Between the months of September and November last year, the Lake Victoria fisheries witnessed a rare and devastating death of fish along the beaches.
During that period, hundreds of thousands of fish in cages died, leaving the fisherfolk shocked, stranded, and discouraged.
The loss due to fish kills within the county was estimated at Sh 884.8 million.
The highest losses were experienced by Kentila Farms and Lake Aqua Ltd at Sh200,400, 000 and Sh4 138,000,000, respectively. Unfortunately, both are in Ogal Beach.
During the catastrophic last year, the national government joined the county in the battle. a Multi-Agency Team (MAT) headed by the Principal Secretary State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries was formed.
The team was tasked with looking into issues of fish death and reporting the findings and recommendations.
It was discovered that Low oxygen level was the main cause of fish either in cages or in the wild - emanating from the decomposition of organic matter/pollutants.