Fishermen in Lamu want govt. to stop Somali-Kenya fish business citing loss

Fishermen in Lamu want govt. to stop Somali-Kenya fish business citing loss

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Lamu Community elder Mohammed Mbwana (center) with Lamu County fishermen Yusuf Athamani (right) and other fishermen during a press briefing in Mombasa. PHOTO: BRIAN OSWETA.

Lamu, KENYA: Fishermen in Lamu have called upon the government to stop the Somali-Kenya fish business that is making them run losses.

Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday where they had come to seek help from Muslims For Human Rights Organisation MUHURI, the fishermen said the matter has gravelly affected their business.

“This business between Somali and Kenya should be closed as our market in Mombasa is supplied with fish from Somalia at a cheaper price making us run big losses,” Said Yusuf Athamani one of the fishermen.

The fishermen whose main source of livelihood is fishing, added that with the curfews imposed by Kenya Navy they also get very little returns form their business.

“You know we get a lot of fish during night time but since 2011 when Linda-nchi operation began we were banned from fishing at night; this has greatly affected us.” added Ahmed Shabwana another fisherman.

Human rights organisation MUHURI have now called upon President Kenyatta to address the issue of minority and marginalized communities at the coast of Kenya.

MUHURI Director Hassan Abdille said the President seems to have forgotten the coastal region while compensating other areas that are alleged to have been marginalized.

“President Uhuru donated sh. 1 billion to Miraa farmers while he deliberately neglected and ignored the plight of the fishing community in Lamu County,” said Abdille.

The organisation has called for a comprehensive and Non-discrimination policy, which also anchors questions of affirmative action, for the benefit of marginalized groups to be set.