Fisheries project to benefit 500,000 in Kwale and Kilifi

Salim Mvurya

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya delivers his speech during the launch of the investing in women in the blue economy in Kenya project at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi on August 3.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

About 500,000 people in Kwale and Kilifi counties will benefit from a Sh2 billion funding under the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (Cosme) project.

The project, which aims to address the negative effects of climate change, will benefit women and the youth.

Speaking during the launch in Mombasa, Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya stressed the gravity of the climate change situation in Kenya.

"The unprecedented effects of climate change in Kenya continue to have a significant impact on many livelihoods. Changing weather patterns have led to increased heat, recurrent droughts and floods. As a result, many livelihoods, especially those along the coast, are bearing the brunt of severe losses. The fisheries sub-sector has been severely affected, with disrupted fish migration patterns, altered populations and depleted stocks, with major impacts on both fishermen and the coastal blue economy," said Mr Mvurya.

He added: "The project will directly reach over 48,000 beneficiaries directly and 433,000 people indirectly in Kwale and Kilifi counties, on the basis of grants to community interest groups and public and private institutions."

On August 3, the national government launched the Investing in Women in the Blue Economy in Kenya (IIW-BEK) initiative targeting 11 counties. Sh1 billion was set aside to boost the blue economy sector, particularly fisheries, tourism and maritime activities.

According to the CS, the financial injection aims to strengthen these sectors by providing vulnerable people with the means to invest in transformative projects that will not only improve their individual opportunities, but also contribute significantly to the economic landscape of the country.

Mr Mvurya went on to highlight five initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of the coastal region. These include the Sh10 billion Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development project and comprises five projects.

"To date, Sh812 million in grants have been awarded to the CIGs. The first round of grants was Sh320 million to the common interest community groups and was presided over by President William Ruto in February. The grants were for training communities in fisheries governance, conservation and deep sea fishing and managing sanitation at landing sites. In the second phase, grants worth Sh552,223,798.75 were awarded to community groups in the five participating districts," said Mr Mvurya.

Other projects aimed at uplifting the coastal region include: training of fishermen; development of a Marine Spatial Plan (Sh600 million); provision of fishing vessels (Sh26 million for 26 fishing vessels); and strengthening of monitoring, control and surveillance through the commissioning of six patrol boats worth Sh306 million.