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Five counties to share Sh10b WB fund for fisheries project

By Patrick Beja | January 3rd 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

KMFRI Board of Management chairman John Safari Mumba (right) speaks during a meeting of the Technical Committee on County Engagement held at KMFRI in October 2019. [Courtesy]

Five coastal counties are set to benefit from a Sh10 billion funding for marine fisheries, a report seen by The Standard has confirmed.

Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu have been listed as beneficiaries from the World Bank loan secured by the national government through the State Department of Fisheries and the Blue Economy programme.

Economic benefits

The $100 million funding is meant to support the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development (Kemfsed) project so as to attain maximum and sustainable economic benefits from coastal and marine resources. The Kemfsed project will be rolled out this year.

The report, Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development Project, has been authored by the national government.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has been in the forefront in the push for development of the blue economy that includes the fisheries sector and seafaring so as to create wealth and employment. The president announced the development of Shimoni fish port in Kwale County.

Agencies implementing the Kemfsed project will be the State Department of Fisheries, Blue Economy and Kenya Fisheries Service. Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) will also participate in the ambitious multi-agency project.

“The overall project development goal is to enhance economic benefits and coastal livelihoods from marine fisheries and coastal aquaculture while safeguarding associated ecosystems’ integrity,” says the project report.

Contacted, Mombasa Fisheries Chief Officer Ezel Mzera confirmed his county was earmarked to benefit.

According to the document, the five coastal counties will get Sh4.96 billion as grant. The remaining Sh5 billion will be retained by the State department to service the five counties' infrastructure projects.

“There is no particular amount allocated to any county and funds will be given to the counties according to their identified projects that are worth investing in and the annual work plans that counties will be preparing,” says the document.

Depending on the ability to absorb the funds and meet the donor conditionalities, each county will be given the money to spend according to their proposed projects and annual work plan.

The Council of Governors and chief officers from the five counties have held meetings on the modalities of disbursing the funds.

Control overfishing

The project is set to fund governance and management of marine fisheries and aquatic resources with the aim of strengthening them to control overfishing and enhance associated ecosystem integrity.

Another component of the project is aimed to promote investment in marine fisheries and coastal aquaculture to enhance efficient utilisation and value addition of the resources.

The third component will cover project management, including establishment and operationalisation of the secretariat, fiduciary, environmental and social safeguards and monitoring and evaluation.

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