Lake Victoria fishermen welcome plastic bags ban
MEASURE Nema inspected boats yesterday to ensure they did not have polythene bags
KISUMU | Fishermen on Lake Victoria have supported the ban on plastics, saying it is a big step to reclaiming the dwindling life in one of Africa’s largest fresh water bodies.
Lake Victoria Beach Management Unit Network, through association chairman Edward Oremo, said polythene bags had threatened their livelihoods.
“Plastic bags in the lake have contributed to decrease of fish,” said Mr Oremo.
He said the pollutants have clogged breeding sites in the lake, affecting the population of fish and the livelihood of many.
“Some species of fish have in the recent past disappeared because plastics have clogged
Fishermen said plastic bags had led to reduction in ish population, threatening their livelihood
fish breeding areas,” Mr Oremo said.
He noted that islands such as Remba, Ringiti and Migingo have been adversely affected by the plastic menace.
Yesterday, National Environment Management Authority (Nema) officials inspected boats before they got into the lake to ensure they had no plastic bags.
Homa Bay County environment officer John Maniafu said they will ensure the ban is effected by organising public awareness meetings with fishermen and fishery officers.
“We are organising meetings with beach fishermen and fisheries officers to ensure the ban is effected,” said Mr Maniafu.
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute director Christopher Aura, who is an environmental scientist, said plastic pollutants in the lake have been destroying aquatic life.
Plastic pollutants, he added have affected movement of fish in the lake.
“Plastics have blocked water ways and also interfered with the circulation of oxygen in the lake.”
Meanwhile, demand for old newspapers has risen in parts of Homa Bay County as the ban on the use of plastic bags took effect on Monday.
Many butchery operators and grocery vendors have resorted to newspapers to wrap their products. In Homa Bay town market food products such as tomatoes, kales and onions are now being wrapped in newspapers.
NEW RULES newspapers are now in demand after the ban on plastic bags took effect.