Fishermen in Lamu have something to smile about after the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) donated Sh13 million worth of fishing gear to them.
The equipment, fully funded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was handed over to the various fishing groups at an event held in Kizingitini in Lamu East.
Addressing hundreds of fishermen who turned up to receive the fishing gear, KRCS Deputy Secretary-General Asha Mohammed said the equipment, which include cooler boxes, outboard engines, nets, hooks and diving sets, will help improve how the fishing communities carry out their daily activities in the region.
DEEP SEA FISHING
“We’ve decided to distribute these equipment to the Lamu fishermen to enable them explore deep sea fishing and thus increase their catch and generally improve their livelihoods,” said Dr Mohammed.
Kizingitini Island, which is among the key fishing hubs in Lamu, has over 800 fishermen, most of whom use traditional techniques in their work.
Lamu Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Aboud pledged to continue working closely with KRCS to ensure the lives of fishermen across Lamu are improved.
Mr Aboud said the equipment donated by KRCS will help open up fishing zones and enable fishermen explore newer fishing grounds that would otherwise not be have been accessed using normal engine boats.
“We thank the Kenya Red Society for the donation to our fishermen. This will go a long way in boosting their livelihoods since they are now able to venture into the deep seas for their fishing expeditions. We will continue to work together with the humanitarian organisation for the betterment of our people,” said Mr Aboud.
The chairman of the Kizingitini Fishing Cooperative Society Salim Aroi could not hide his happiness after receiving the fishing gear.
Mr Aroi, who is also a renowned fisherman in Lamu East, said it had become nearly impossible for them to venture into the open seas due to lack of the modern fishing equipment.
He said using traditional canoes, dhows, fishing lines and rods in the deep seas is a risk to their lives.
He said the outdated fishing equipment cannot allow them fish in the deeper seas where he believes much of the fish is concentrated.
“We’re really happy for the efforts made by the Kenya Red Cross Society to recognise us by donating the modern fishing gear to us. We have today received outboard engines, cooler boxes and many other modern fishing tools. We will now be able to explore deep sea fishing,” said Mr Aroi.
This is not the first time KRCS is donating equipment to Lamu fishermen.
In November 2018, the organisation distributed equipment worth Sh13 million to Lamu fishermen at the Mtangawanda Jetty in Lamu East.