Hundreds of fishermen in Mombasa County have asked the President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho to ensure that they are compensated over the destruction of the Kibarani fishing grounds by developers who killed the mangrove forest cover.
“We are appealing to government to compensate fishermen for loss of livelihood after the Kibarani fishing ground was destroyed by developers. We also want the grabbed land at Kibarani returned to the Mombasa county government,” Wavuvi Association of Kenya chairman Mr Hamid Omar said.
The more than 300 fishermen from Tudor and Shimanzi beach management units (BMUs) called for the immediate prosecution of those who have filled the Kibarani creek with garbage that has choked the fish breeding ground.
Speaking at the Tudor landing site under the umbrella of Wavuvi Association of Kenya (WAK), the fishermen also asked Government to repossess fourteen fish landing sites from grabbers within Mombasa County.
The fishermen want title deeds issued for Tudor, Shimanzi, Kitanga Juu, Mkupe, Jomvu, Mikindani, Mishomoroni, Mkomani, Mombasa old market, Nyali, Bamburi, Utange, Mtongwe, Likoni and Timbwani for protection from grabbers.
They also commended parliamentary committee on Environment led by Mara MP Mr Kareke Mbiuki that ordered developers to stop reclamation of the sea after visiting the Kibarani site saying the move would save the fishing area.
WAK chairman Mr Hamid Omar said the ongoing excavation of the Kibarani area has destroyed the breeding ground for prawns, lobsters, grabs and other fish species hence impoverished local fishermen.
Omar called for the immediate demolition of a new bridge at the Kibarani channel which he said blocked free passage by fishermen and become a death trap after claiming the life of a fisherman recently.
Another fisherman Mr Hajji Ramadhan said the continued destruction of their fishing ground has led to low catch saying he used to fish up to 50 kilos a day but he gets as little as one kilo at present.
“We are facing starvation at the moment after developers invaded Kibarani and destroyed the mangroves and filled the sea with garbage. There is no longer fish in the area,” he lamented.
Mr Hamisi Voya protested against the construction of a building at the Tudor fish landing site saying the area had been reserved for fishermen.
“We are facing threats from all places including Kibarani fishing ground and this landing site. We want Government to compensate us,” Voya said.