What you need to know:
- The announcement is part of the government’s measures aimed at tapping into the blue economy sector.
- Key in his priority, the Head of State said, is to redevelop the Liwatoni fish landing site into a modern fishing port.
All fishing vessels operating in the Kenyan waters will land their catch at the new Liwatoni fishing port, which is being developed by the national government.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement in a move aimed at boosting the fishing industry at the Coast region. The Head of State said the measure will be effective March next year once the facility is completed.
The announcement is part of the government’s measures aimed at tapping into the blue economy sector. Key in his priority, the Head of State said, is to redevelop the Liwatoni fish landing site into a modern fishing port.
“As a value-addition measure, His Excellency the President has directed the National Treasury to release funds for the construction of an ultra-modern Tuna fish factory at the Liwatoni Fishing Port,” the State House said through its spokesperson Kanze Dena.
President Kenyatta has further directed the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to train at least 1,000 Kenyan fishermen who will be absorbed by vessels operating in Kenyan waters after completing their training by June next year.
“The President has encouraged investors interested in the country’s expanding blue economy to take advantage of the reforms in the sector by investing in Kenya,” said Ms Dena.
President Kenyatta made the announcement at Mombasa State House after a meeting with National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani, Peter Munya (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries) and Transport CS James Macharia.
The meeting which was also attended by Principal Secretary for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy Prof Micheni Ntiba is part of ongoing efforts by the government to reposition the sector as a key driver of the nation's economy.
The announcement came after the Head of State visited the Liwatoni fishing complex where he expressed satisfaction with the ongoing rehabilitation of the fish landing site which he said will help create jobs for the youth and boost the coastal economy.
Speaking to small scale traders at Liwatoni, the President rallied them to take advantage of the bridge and fishing port projects to grow their businesses.
President Kenyatta tasked Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, who had accompanied him, to work with the national government agencies in developing modern business stalls in the area so as to enable the traders benefit from the the projects once completed.
The Liwatoni landing site is being turned into fishing port after the government took it back in 2018 from the hands of private developers who had reportedly grabbed it.
The development is part of the government’s list of project that will see it spend up to Sh12 billion to boost the Blue Economy industry in the country.
In a recent tour to the region, Agriculture CS Peter Munya said part of the funds shall be used to reclaim all landing sites that were grabbed by tycoons and upgrade those which are in a bad state by improving their infrastructure.
Part of the funds is also being used in putting up a mega cold storage facility at the Malindi fisheries centre in Kilifi county.
The government is also in the process of reclaiming all the landing sites that had been grabbed from the public and made private,'' he said.
Other funds will also be used to upgrade fisheries facilities and repossess the said landing sites.