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Fishermen in dilemma over safety directives from maritime authority

Fish monger from Lake Naivasha shows her daily catch yesterday during a stakeholder meeting at Central landing beach. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Fishermen around Lake Naivasha are in a dilemma following directives that they acquire vessel certificates from the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).

Coxswains have not been spared either under the exercise that is meant to address the issue of safety around the troubled water body.

Currently, training and issuance of the safety certificates is carried out in Mombasa and Kisumu, raising fears that several fishermen and coxswain could be locked out of from operating in the lake.

The Kenya Coast Guards Service (KCGS) is enforcing the directives and several boat operators have been arrested and charged in court for operating without the document.

According to Grace Nyambura, the secretary of Lake Naivasha Network, very few persons could meet the new demands by the coast guards.

She challenged the Nakuru County government to sponsor some of the fishermen in safety training so they can comply with the new regulations. “Each boat operator is required to have a safety certificate from KMA and it can only be got in Kisumu or Mombasa,” she said.