The Kenya government, through the Nakuru County government, has set aside US $103,404 for setting up a fish processing plant. The plant will be located on the shores of Lake Naivasha.
The plant, according to the Nakuru County Fisheries Officer Mathew Ngila, is projected to reach completion within in the next two months. The county officer further disclosed that the facility would also include a fish market. As such, those currently selling fish in the open-air market are to be relocated to the new establishment.
Mr. Ngila explained that the plant is expected to process about two to three tonnes of fish daily. This, he adds, will act as a major boost of income for the fish stakeholders
Mr Ngila said that the processing plant would include a bulking unit with cold storage facilities for value addition of fish products and to improve on hygiene in handling fish.
He further added that those selling fish at the various termini have already been alerted of the relocation plan by the county government.
Meanwhile, there is an initiative to establish model roadside fish market along Naivasha-Nairobi highway to control fish hawking and at the same time create more jobs for the youth. Furthermore, a second tender for building small units to host fish traders has already been awarded. Mr. Ngila added that they expect to hire out the new units to those who will do value addition.
To make fishing sustainable, he said the county has restocked over 100,000 fingerlings. He also added that the current restocking phase targets another 100,000 this financial year
Fishing in Lake Naivasha directly supports at least 700 fishermen. At the same time, more than 5,000 people are indirectly involved in the fish value chain.