• Yvonne Ekiru

Relocate to avert pollution, Kalokol fish traders told


Photo: Courtesy

Kalokol Town is 58km from Lodwar Town on the Western shores of Lake Turkana. Fishing activities are the main source of income for most of the residents of Kalokol. Kalokol town is dusty but lively.


It has grown significantly in recent years, especially in the fishing industry. The catch from the turquoise blue waters of Lake Turkana is processed and sold as far as Congo, Rwanda and other places.


Peter Ekuom is a resident of Kalokol town. He has lived there for decades. He is a troubled man. He knows too well the effects of the smoke emanating from the smoking fish.


He explains that he fears for his health and that of the residents of the town adding that they may get breathing complications if the Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources does not take their complaints seriously.


"There are fishmongers here in town who smoke their fish. The smoke is very harmful to our health. Relocating all smoking activities to the designated areas will save us and the future generations from breathing complications," he said.


Last month the Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources declared its intention to relocate traders engaging in fish smoking from residential areas of Kalokol Town.


This far County Government of Turkana has started issuing relocation orders to individual traders.


Turkana Central Sub-County Officer Samuel Ekaran cited that there is a need to protect the people of Kalokol from uncontrolled smoking that is harmful to their health and the environment.


"All Fish traders will relocate to one area for easy control. Smoking contributes to global warming," said Ekaran.


The county Coordinator for health Mary Loter said that Kalokol had reported cases of cholera in the past arising from poor handling of smoked fish.


A section of traders had resisted the move claiming that it was ill-intended, however, residents and traders welcomed the initiative and vowed to support the Ministry of Water and environment in the relocation process.