Echo Network Africa and Menonite Economic Development Associates of Canada donated assorted equipment for the production of caged fish worth 6 million shillings to women in Homa Bay County, Kenya.
Both groups said the move was aimed at empowering women in the fishing industry. 100 women from Litare, Wakula, Kaugege and Mrongo beaches in Mbita sub-county benefited from this donation. Among the items they received were motorized boats to transport the caught fish, solar coolers to preserve fish, machines to process fish feed and solar lamps.
Jennifer Riria, CEO of Echo Network Africa, Walter Tinega, Director of Menonite Programs, and Jack Obonyo, representative of Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga, provided distribution. The women also received fish cages in which each beach received a cage. The cages are used for fish farming in Lake Victoria. They also received training on handling the equipment.
Source of stable income
“We launched this project to allow the women of these beaches to have a stable source of income. The project will protect women from sexual exploitation by enabling them to produce fish themselves. What predisposes women to sexual abuse by fishermen is poverty. But this project makes women fish keepers, so a lot of money. Once women are empowered, those who want to abuse them will not have the opportunity,” said Dr Riria.
“We also trained them in financial management to make sure they plan well and get the most out of the aquaculture project. Aquaculture is an important project as it enhances food security. The county government will support the project,” Tinega said. Obonyo, who read Governor Wanga’s speech, said the county government will support the project to ensure its sustainability.
“Aquaculture is an important project because it enhances food security. The county government will support the project,” Obonyo said. The women who will benefit from the project have welcomed more initiatives to empower them economically.