A simple walk to the beach in my village turned out to be an eye-opener to me about the small scale Fishing industry by the shores of Lake Victoria which is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world. As kids, during the school holidays, we would go back to the village to spend time with our grandparents & i remember that my grandfather used to own a boat. Every morning, someone would come to our homestead to bring the days' sales from the fish that they had managed to catch the previous night.
But then this source of income stalled when the 'Hyacinth' weed suddenly appreared on the lake & covered most of the shores thus making it difiicult for the fishermen with their simple boat equipments to be able to fish. And suddenly, a whole folk that depended mainly on fishing were forced to abandon their only source of living & to try & find another way of feeding themselves & their families.
At the moment, not much has improved even though the shores are not fully covered by this weed as it was earlier. Due to pollution & poor fishing skills practiced by the local fishermen, there is not much fish to be caught which in turn causes the prices of fish to increase a lot. It is unbelievable that because of demand, people who love eating fish are even forced to buy imported fish from China which retail at a much cheaper price that the locally caught ones.
Local Traders (mainly women) waiting for the Fishermen to come in with their new catch.
Catfish, which is very popular in our village.
The fresh fish is deep fried in oil & is very tasty
The Kenyan Government should play it's role as policy maker & enforcer to ensure that the Lake is not used as a dumping site by industries & the local fishermen should also be educated & made aware of the disadvantages of overfishing & the use of smaller holed nets. If each & every one of us plays their part, then we can save this precious lake to be enjoyed by our descendants in the years to come.
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