March 8, 2021 (NAIVASHA, Kenya): As part of the IGAD-Ecofish Project, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today closed a workshop entitled “Bilateral Fisheries Coordination Platform Consultative Meeting between Ethiopia and Kenya on Omo Turkana Basin Fisheries Management”.
The workshop brought together stakeholders from the fisheries sector from Kenya and Ethiopia construing the National/Federal Governments, subnational governments (Counties and regions), fishing communities in Lake Turkana, experts at various levels on the Omo-Turkana Basin.
Dr. Fatuma Adan, Head of IGAD Mission to Kenya, made opening remarks on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu. She highlighted that IGAD remains committed to supporting its member states through policy harmonisation, strengthening national and subnational governments systems to promote better fisheries resource management and development.
The Fishery sector in the IGAD region contributes immensely to accelerated economic growth and development, income generation, food and nutrition security, and export earnings. Dr. Fatuma stressed that this capacity building at the fishing community level is a testimony of the IGAD Executive Secretary’s ambition to bring IGAD to the people.
Mr. Rodrick Kundu, Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development at the State Department for Fisheries and Blue Economy of Kenya, in his opening remarks mentioned that the best way to sustainable management of the fisheries resource is by fully engaging the fishing communities in the decision-making process and management. He briefed that the bilateral coordination platform would help unlock the full potential of Lake Turkana in the fishery sectors of both countries.
Dr. Michael Moges, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Water and Energy of Ethiopia, pointed that despite the different levels of socio-economic development and different national approaches for water resources management, the ultimate goal is the same. There is a need to plan to use these water resources sustainably and wisely for lasting and sustainable growth and joint development.
As the workshop closed this afternoon, major outcomes include:
- IGAD-Ecofish project progress report and second-year plan was approved;
- A Terms of Reference for the Fisheries Bilateral Coordination Platform was
- A harmonized fisheries dependent and independent data collection template was adopted.
The IGAD- Ecofish Project is supported by the European Union.
The IGAD Secretariat has developed and validated an Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP), or simply called fisheries co-management plan for Omo Turkana Basin (OTB). In the fisheries co-management plan, one of the most important milestones is to establish OTB RB Fisheries Bilateral Coordination Platform (FBCP). This platform is instrumental to operationalise fisheries co-management activities in OTB of Ethiopia and Kenya. During the February 2021 (Jinka) and June 2021 (Naivasha) workshops organised in Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively, the organisational and functional framework of the FBCP were discussed. Platform member institutions were also proposed during those workshops.