Homa Bay Women to benefit from Sh6m aquaculture equipmentBushnell Odhiambo
The county government of Homa Bay has partnered with Echo Network Africa to empower women groups through a programme of aquaculture in Suba North sub counties.
Echo Network Africa (ENA) acquired Sh6 million worth of aquaculture equipment, including; four boat engines, solar security lights, solar freezers and palletizer machines for fish feed processing to support four vulnerable women groups in undertaking fish farming in lake Victoria.
The equipment were distributed to the groups operating at Wakula, Mrongo, Kaugege and Litare beaches in Mbita Sub-county, Homa Bay County.
A representative from Homa Bay government, Mr. Jack Obonyo said the county government is embracing initiatives that seek to make women economically self-reliant.
“With freehold fishing no longer sustainable due to the ever erratic fish population in the lake, fish farming and aquaculture value chain are the new frontiers through which we bet food security.” Obonyo was speaking during the launch at Litare beach, in Rusinga ward.
He added: “The county government will help build the capacity of the women to horn their financial literacy. Governor Gladys Wanga’s administration commits to leverage on partnerships with development partners to help mitigate the struggles the fisherfolk women go through while pursuing better livelihoods.”
The organization’s chief executive, Dr. Jennifer Riaria said the distributed tools are meant to help women groups to not only increase their output from the current 28 tons of fish harvest, but to equally ensure a safe storage for the market.
“We already working on modalities of increasing the number of women group beneficiaries to a further four as per our strategic plan proposals,” Riara remarked.
Dr. Riara said the initiative will cushion the women from frustrations of “sex for fish”, a practice where men have sex with women before giving them fish, something she said had undermined the dignity of many women in the area.
ENA, MEDA and other development partners and stakeholders have been at the forefront to save the women from the ravaging effects of Jaboya (fish for sex) by introducing value addition in fishing through caging.