Kenya's Government is trying to encourage poor local fishermen on the coast to form co-operatives for deep sea fishing.
Kenya's Government is trying to encourage poor local fishermen on the coast to form co-operatives for deep sea fishing. At the moment, this potentially valuable source of income is monopolised by foreigners and wealthy business men.
Recently, the Coast Provincial Commissioner, Mr. Eliud Mahihu, said that by establishing co-operative societies along Kenya's coast, the fishermen would be able to earn much bigger profits. The societies would be able to sell in bulk, and therefore aim for a much more profitable and bigger market.
The plight of the coastal fishermen helps to highlight one of the major problems facing the Kenyan Government. A recent report of the International Labour Office suggests that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing ever wider.
Since Independence, Kenya has managed to sustain a growth rate of between six and seven per cent - higher than in most other developing countries in Africa. But, says the report, the increase in wealth is failing to reach the poorest people. The result is that half the population have no jobs, and another two million households live on less than two-hundred pounds a year.
For the poor fishermen of the coast, the disparity of wealth is not just a question of cold statistics. It is a reality they live with every day of their lives. They see the luxury boats of the rich returning to harbour with catches of big fish. The rich do it as a sport. For the fishermen it could change their lives.