10 June, 2021: (NAIVASHA, Kenya): As part of the Ecofish Programme, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development yesterday concluded a workshop entitled “National Workshop for Adoption of the draft Lake Turkana Basin Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) and Consultative Meeting on Establishment of Bilateral Fisheries Management Forum” in Naivasha.
The workshop brought together stakeholders representing various ministries of Kenyan Government. Some of the key stakeholders participated were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Turkana University, County Government of Marsabit, County Government of Turkana, Fish Cooperative Representatives from Turkana County and others.
This two-days workshop was meant to provide a framework for harnessing the fisheries potential and to foster sustainable utilization and exploitation of the fisheries for improving the livelihoods, food security and nutrition, and incomes of members of the communities in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) areas of the Omo Turkana Basin. More specifically, the objectives were to:
- Introduce the project to national stakeholders;
- Review the co-management plan and adopt;
- Discuss on the bilateral (Kenya and Ethiopia) forum establishment processes;
- Review the Project plan based on the prevailing COVID situation.
In her opening speech, Dr. Fatouma Adan, IGAD Head of Mission in Kenya representing his Excellency the Executive Secretary, said “the fisheries management plan aims to ensure that fisheries exploitation, equitable access to fisheries resources and efficient use of fisheries are achieved through collaboration and communication between key stakeholders in the IGAD region”.
Dr. Fatouma added that IGAD is one of the implementing agents of the regional economic communities of the ECOFISH Programme, which will enable the Omo-Turkana Basin to stimulate socio-economically equitable and ecologically sustainable fisheries development and management in the two basins.
The second opening remark was made by Dr. Rodrick Kundu, Ag Director of Fisheries Management and Development, State Department for Fisheries Aquaculture and Blue Economy (Kenya). He expressed clearly that the Government of Kenya is promoting to raise the fish consumption habit of the people. He also mentioned that Kenya is working to industrialize the fisheries sector. He focused the importance of building the spirit of man managing the fisheries in the lake and in the breeding rivers. Finally, he recommended the importance of sharing information and to have database for both Kenya and Ethiopia.
Baseline Study of the Omo Turkana Basin and draft Fisheries Integrated Management Plan (IFMP) prepared through the Support of African Development Bank were presented and discussed. As the workshop closed the project was introduced to the participants, Moreover, the project Support to Sustainable Utilization, Development and Management of the Fisheries of Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin (BASRB) between Ethiopia and South Sudan, and Lake Turkana Basin (LTB) shared between Ethiopia was presented and the key activity plans were reviewed in line with the existing COVID-19 situation.
A similar workshop is planned be held in South Sudan in July 2021.
The overall objective of the programme is to “enhance equitable economic growth by promoting sustainable fisheries in the EA-SA-IO region”.
The specific objective is “to support sustainable fisheries management and development in order to contribute to poverty reduction alleviation, food and nutrition security while addressing climate change resilience and enhancing marine biodiversity”.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is one of the implementing Regional Economic Communities for the EU funded ECOFISH Programme.