Fishermen warned against fishing in L. Victoria while drunk


Boat on Lake Victoria

 

Fishermen in Bondo, Siaya County have been warned against going to fish in Lake Victoria while drunk.

Speaking in Bondo Town on Monday, Bondo Beach Management Unit (BMU) Network secretary Mr Joseph Ogwel advised fishermen to observe safety precautions while going about their business to avert accidents on the lake, adding that they will arrest and prosecute any fisherman who will be found on the lake drunk or lacking proper protective gear

The BMU Network secretary regretted the high number of fishermen who have died on the lake due to the lack of proper protective gear, and impressed upon them to always put on life jackets while on the lake.

He stated that the BMU Network is currently working with relevant authorities including the county government and the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) to find a way of minimising accidents on the lake.

His sentiments came barely hours after a 35-year-old man drowned in Lake Victoria after the boat he was on was hit by strong winds and capsized near Mitundu beach in Mageta Island, Bondo sub-County.

Odhiambo Miyaga is said to have left the beach together with his 14-year-old son to travel to Usenge Beach when they were met with the unfortunate incident.

According to the Chief of Mageta location Mr Ambrose Ogema, the duo had just sailed a few meters from the lakeshore when the boat was hit by strong winds and capsised.

He said that the man and his son then struggled to swim to the lakeshore for safety but Odhiambo seems to have been overwhelmed and drowned.

Chief Ogema however stated that the 14-year-old boy managed to swim and was rescued just before reaching the shore.

The administrator told Radio Ramogi that the man and his son were on their way to attend the celebrations for his father’s anniversary, which was to be celebrated today (Tuesday).

Mr Ogema, who confirmed the incident, stated that plans are underway to begin searching for the body.

He at the same time warned fishermen and any other persons traveling on the lake to always ensure they put on life saving jackets to avert such untimely deaths.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event in Bondo Town, Bondo sub-County Beach Management Unit (BMU) Network cahirma Mr Johannes Gaunye urged fishermen in Bondo sub-County to stop the use of illegal fishing gear in order to conserve fish in Lake Victoria.

Mr Gaunye said the decreasing stock of fish in the lake is as a result of illegal fishing gear, adding that they would conduct a major crackdown to arrest and prosecute those who will be found encouraging the vice.

He said the lake would only be able to benefit the coming generation if it is well preserved hence the need to ensure that good fishing practices are adhered to.

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Story By George Amolo
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