World Bank grants State Sh10b for blue economy projects
The government has secured Sh10 billion from World Bank to implement blue economy projects in the Coast region.
The funds will be invested in the fisheries sector.
Fishermen, who are among those who will benefit from the funding, are being trained on deep-sea fishing.
Already, 100 fishermen who underwent a two-month training in Kilifi county have graduated.
Speaking during the flagging off of the fishermen at the Malindi jetty to go fishing, Fisheries Principal Secretary Micheni Ntiba said the programme is meant to transform the local fishermen from traditional seamen to modern fishermen.
“We are here today to flag off the first 100 trained fishermen to cross over the shallow waters and fish in the deep sea.
We are happy that the training has gone well and that they are now going for the practicals,’’ he said.
The PS said additional 400 fishermen would be trained in other four coastal counties of Lamu, Tana River, Mombasa and Kwale.
“This programme will continue until we empower our people to go and fish in deep sea and going forward we shall be solving the problem of fishermen going to Tanzania for fishing,’’ he said.
He said the fishermen were trained on the fisheries law especially about the sustainability of the fish resource.
Ntiba said fish is a resource which can be exhausted but if well managed, it can sustain even future generations.
“According to the law, fishing can serve us create jobs, food and nutrition security, create wealth build the coastal area moving forward and I think they have understood that,’’ he said.
Ntiba said developing of the fisheries will create 10 million jobs in the value chain from fishing, processing, treating and adding value to the fish together with equipment used in fishing.
Apart from fisheries, he said the blue economy will create jobs in oil and gas, mining, shipping and maritime affairs, tourism, farming in the sea and sports among others.
In Kwale, he said, the government is constructing a state-of-the-art mariculture centre to support farming in the sea.
The PS said the national government will acquire modern fishing gears and urged the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani to spend part of the Sh2.5 billion grant from the European Union to buy fishing equipment.
“We wish to transform the Kenyan Coast to become an economic centre for the country,’’ he said.