The fishing in Mombasa is set to receive a major growth after the devolved unit revealed plans to pump sh250 million to grow the industry.
The funds will be spent in building cold stores, buying fishing boats, improving security at the landing sites and ‘elevating’ the market to modern status.
Mombasa county’s 2020/21 budget proposals shows that the county will spend Sh120 million to purchase boats, Shs 80 million will go into constructing a 100-tonne multi-cold storage and Shs20 million will be spent in putting up a modern market.
Modern fish stalls and meeting halls will also be constructed at a tune of Sh12 million. This will be done at all landing sites in its sub-counties with another Sh6 million being spent in constructing fish ponds.
Through this project, the county aims to increase fish production, boost food security and create employment in a region that is predominantly reliant on tourism.
If approved, the county will spend sh10 million to renovate at least 44 landing sites, with the acquisition and rehabilitation done in collaboration with Kenya Ports Authority.
Landing sites in Mombasa have been grabbed by private developers and efforts by poor fishermen to recover them have hit a snag.
Haki Yetu, a rights group in their 2015 report detailed how 50 landing sites in Mombasa were grabbed and more continue to be grabbed.
Both national and county governments have made collaborative efforts to recover some of them. Mombasa county administration announced that they had made a breakthrough.
In November 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that all the sites be recovered and that’s when the Fisheries Department set aside sh300 million to bankroll the operation that included surveying and fencing.
In the same year the county administration gave out 28 high density fibreglass and distributed to 14 beach management units (BMU) with each unit receiving two boats and fishing gears.
The county government of Mombasa has announced that it will pump Sh 5million to coordinate all it’s blue economy activities.
Fishermen have lauded the move and pray that all the funds allocated to the sector as spent on the actual intended work.