Fishermen at the Kilifi Central Beach Management Unit (BMU) have protested a move by the Kilifi county government to renovate the fish market at the landing site.
The more than 500 fishermen called for the construction of a new market arguing that the old one is small and cannot accommodate the growing number of fishermen.
‘’The current market was built by the Norway Missionaries back in 1995 and handed it to the Ministry of fisheries but now it’s unsafe. It has already started developing cracks because they used bricks which have started eroding and we fear it will not stay long. We urge the government to build a new modern fish market hall,’’ said their vice chairman Henry Mzungu.
Mzungu expressed fears the renovation may be a waste of public resources.
‘’They have already brought down the roof of the hall and they are in the process of refurbishing it but our main issue here we want the whole structure brought down and a new structure put up,’’ said Mzungu.
He said the County government had been allocating funds for construction of a modern market hall since the inception of devolution but the public money has been diverted by some County officials.
The County government had allocated sh5M for revamping of the old fish market hall which the fishermen claim it’s enough for constructing a new one but they fear the ongoing renovation is a scheme meant to siphon public funds.
Mzungu also faulted the County government for erecting a shoddy fence which they claim is different from the one in their bill of quantity.
Kilifi County Boat operators Chairman Captain Shalo Issa blamed the fisheries department for failing to take their concern seriously.
He urged the government to set aside funds in the financial year 2019/2020 to initiate construction of an Ice plant for fishermen to store their fish for long hours before reaching the market.