A group of fishermen in Busia County has earned plaudits after donating Ksh1.4 million to help needy students from the county. The donation is expected to benefit 214 students who excelled in their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam but face financial constraints preventing them from joining Form One.
Each student selected for the program dubbed ‘Beach Management Unit Scholarship Fund’ received Ksh7,000. “It is historic that for the first time the fishermen who have been known to be people who suffer are capable of making money without spending a long time in the lake,” noted the Beach Management Unit (BMU) County Chairman Sylvester Kaiwa.
Kaiwa further revealed that the fishermen planned to educate at least 1,000 needy students over the next four years.The donation was drawn from revenues generated by a fish cages project which made the fishermen Ksh3 million in 2019.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong had unveiled the fish farming project which saw fishermen provided with modern cages and training on effective farming techniques. At least twenty of the ‘Beach Management Units’ made up of groups of fishermen exist at different points along the lake’s shores.
The project was introduced as a way to deal with the depletion of fish in Lake Victoria as well as constant harassment of Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan authorities.
Ojaamong appreciated the fishermen’s efforts to educate needy children in the society.“This is part of the development we want to see. Fishermen have been known to suffer, but here in Busia they are earning and even educating needy children,” he observed.Busia County Director of Fisheries Timothy Odendo disclosed that the fishermen decided to save the rest of their Ksh3 million earnings after giving back to the community.
“The fishermen realised the need to give back to the society by donating some part of the profit they made to the pupils who performed well in the KCPE exams. It is commendable,” he stated.