Lake Vic­to­ria fish­er­men wel­come plas­tic bags ban

MEA­SURE Nema in­spected boats yes­ter­day to en­sure they did not have poly­thene bags

Business Daily (Kenya) - - COUNTY BUSINESS - Barack Oduor bo­duor@ke.na­tion­media.com

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.

--FILE

NEW RULES news­pa­pers are now in de­mand af­ter the ban on plas­tic bags took ef­fect.

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