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State bans night fishing at Lake Naivasha after 8 deaths

Fishermen in Lake Naivasha maneuver through water hyacinth in search of two fishermen who drowned last week after their boat capsized. Eight fishermen have drowned in the past four months. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The Government has banned night fishing in Lake Naivasha.

Last week, two fishermen drowned near Kasarani beach while on a fishing mission.

Issuing the ban, Naivasha sub-county commissioner Isaac Masinde said they were working with the department of fisheries to enforce the directive.

In one month alone, a total of six fishermen have drowned in the lake while fishing at night.

“The accidents are occurring at night when the winds are strong and the tides are high,” he said.

Masinde, who is also the chairman of the sub-county security committee, warned that anyone found flouting the ban would be arrested and arraigned in court.

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He admitted that the strong winds recorded in the lakeside town had been adversely affecting fishing in the troubled water body.

“Fishermen will be allowed in the lake between 6am and 6pm and we are calling on them to adhere to this or their licences will be cancelled,” he said.

The chairman of Lake Naivasha boat owners association David Kilo termed the ban as timely, adding that cases of illegal fishing in the lake at night had been on the rise.

“I urge all the fishermen to also wear life jackets when they venture into the lake as this could save their lives in case of an accident,” he said.

Kilo said that the association would be holding sensitisation training for all the fishermen in the lake and called for support from the county government.

This came as the search for the second fisherman who drowned last week was called off due to an increase in water hyacinth around the scene of the accident.

Search teams said the weed had hampered navigation, making it impossible to search for the missing body.

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The teams said the weed had made diving into the lake difficult.

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