By Mangoa Mosota
“The gulf is a stretch of 60 kilometres, and there is hardly any fish,” said Dr Jembe, adding that the availability of Nile Perch was as low as 1.2kg per hectare.
The worst affected places are landing sites in Kisumu, Siaya and Homa Bay, with some areas in Kisumu hardly having any fish. Satellite pictures show the stretch having a thick green layer. However, many sections of Tanzania and Uganda have blue-clean water.
The Standard visited Dunga Beach, which has over 500 fishermen, most of who were forlorn, with their catches being at the lowest in the history of their fishing activity.
Jembe said worsening pollution of the lake, especially in the gulf, has made it not conducive for fish. Poor farming methods in the catchment area has also resulted in nitrates and phosphates in the water.
“The fish move towards areas such as Mbita, where the water is less-polluted. This has forced fishermen in the affected areas to catch even immature fish,” he said.
There is a lot of domestic and industrial effluence to the lake from Kisumu and Homa Bay. Effluence from sugarcane factories provides nutrients for the obnoxious water hyacinth.
“The weed takes up oxygen and releases carbon dioxide, which does not support the existence of fish,” he said.
Hyacinth has been a major impediment to the survival fish. Jembe said wind often blow towards many areas of the gulf, and thus move the weed from areas such Migori to the gulf.