Lamu fishermen reject directive requiring them to carry IDs when fishing

Lamu fishermen reject directive requiring them to carry IDs when fishing

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Fishermen in Lamu . PHOTO: COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: Fishermen in Lamu County want the security office to scrap out a new security provision requiring them to carry their national ID cards whenever they ply the Indian ocean on their fishing missions.

The fishermen are now claiming that the requirement is unrealistic since many of them do not have the Identification document.

They have said the move has now locked them out of the fishing business as they are now forced to avoid conducting the trade for fear of being arrested by security officers who conduct numerous marine patrols on the Lamu waters.

They say fishing is their only source of livelihood and that the move had rendered many of them jobless.

“We have been told never to go fishing without our national ID cards.If that happens you are arrested promptly and treated like a terror suspect.But most fishermen for one reason or the other don’t have the IDs.Fishing is what we live for and as it is with the new requirement,we cant do it.How shall we survive then,

”said Farid Abdul,a fisherman from Faza,Lamu East.

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The fishermen are now calling on Interior CS Joseph Nkaisserry to intervene and have the county security department scrap the provision which has locked them out of Lamu’s waters and subsequently forced them to abandon the trade.

Over 90% of Lamu native communities depend entirely on fishing for survival.