March 17, 2022 (LODWAR, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) organised a training workshop entitled” Establishment of Fisheries Co-Management Units in Lake Turkana Fishing Communities of Turkana County (Kenya)” on March 11 and 12 in Lodwar.
The key participants of this training workshop were fisheries sector stakeholders from different fishing communities, local administration, Beach Management Unit (BMU) leaders, experts at various levels including National and County Fisheries Experts in both Turkana and Marsabet Counties of Kenya.
The main objectives of the training included:
- The establishment of pilot fisheries co-management units;
- The introduction of the principles of fisheries co-management for local fishers; and
- The capacity-building of local fishing communities to involve them the management of fisheries.
Dr. Wassie Anteneh, Regional Fisheries Management Expert made brief welcome remarks and mentioned that the IGAD- ECOFISH project mainly focuses on the sustainable utilisation of the fish resources through fisheries co-management interventions. He pointed out that the involvement of fishing communities and relevant government administrations in all the processes is thought to be the best approach in fisheries management, and this is called fisheries co-management.
Dr. Wassie in his final say indicated that the workshop on capacity building of the fishing communities is a demonstration of IGAD Executive Secretary’s ambition to bring IGAD to the people.
The Director of State Department for Fishery Aquaculture and Blue Economy, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives of Kenya, Mr. Rodrick Kundu thanked IGAD for the support provided to manage the fish resources especially in the shared basins, and invited the Turkana County Commissioner, Mr. Bonface Muthama Wambua to officially open the workshop.
The County Commissioner also thanked IGAD for organising the workshop in Lodwar Town. He stressed the importance of the fisheries resources of Lake Turkana for the Turkana County. He pledged that the administration at the various levels will facilitate the smooth implementation of the project before officially opening the training workshop.
At the end of the two days:
- Pilot fisheries co-management units were established for the Turkana County;
- Awareness of local communities on fisheries co-management was raised;
- Capacities of local communities in managing fish resources were improved; and
- Some guiding rules and community-based bylaws were revised.
IGAD is one of the implementing partners of the E€OFISH Programme. The E€OFISH Programme is a Cross-Regional Initiative funded by the 11th European Development Fund to leverage regional cooperation for enhancing sustainable inland and marine fisheries in Eastern African, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region.