As the country makes strides towards actualizing the much talked about blue economy, Nakuru County has not been left out in trying to reap from the multibillion sector.
Lake Naivasha, which is a critical water resource in the County, is the main target that will help the devolved unit tap into the blue economy.
Through the office of the Lake view Ward MCA and the Ministry of agriculture, the county has pumped an initial KES 5 million into the construction of a fish hatchery in Kihoto, this is in conjunction with the Kenya wildlife Service training institute which is offering technical support.
According to Lake View Ward MCA Karanja Mburu, the fish hatchery is a key project in line with the Jubilee government’s agenda of realizing food security for the country.
He observes that with the fish hatchery in place, the more than 700 fishermen operating within the lake will be sure of being in operation and in business for the better part of the year.
Karanja said that the hatchery will help in rearing fingerlings which will then help in replenishing fish stock within the Lake and scaling up the production of fish within the waters.
He noted that apart from the fishermen more than 5000 people indirectly depend of the lake for survival through fish trading, value addition, boat leasing among other trades.
“We must strive at making the Lake more economically viable because if the Lake is fully utilized then the economic benefits will trickle down across the entire Naivasha and there will be money in people’s pockets,” said Mburu.
“The Lake has the potential of employing thousands of young people but this can only be achieved if and when we make it economically viable,” he added.
The new fish hatchery expected to be operational in the next three months will also save the county government millions of shillings which have been previously used in procuring fingerlings from Sagana and Kisumu.
The hatchery will also serve as a point for offering fish farming lessons to those interested in fish farming.
At the same time a new fish processing plant is under construction at Banda on the shores of Lake Naivasha with the main aim of providing fish dealers with a place to store and preserve their catch.
At least KES 13 million has been allocated for the project also expected to be fully complete in the next three months.
MCA Mburu noted that the processing plant which will be fully equipped with coolers will save the fishermen from losses they have been incurring due to lack of storage facilities.
“It wills save the fishermen from the kind of exploitation they have been facing from traders and brokers who have been buying fish at throw away prices,” he said.
The processing plant will have a capacity of handling 5 to 7 tons of fish per day.
The MCA has also been pushing for the opening of corridors leading to the lake with the aim of easing access to the lake.
According to him there are plans to open ne modern public beaches along the shores of Lake Naivasha with the first one being at Kihoto.
The new beaches will help in creating employment for young people who will be engaged in boat riding, water sports, among other activities that can be done with the lake.