Fish traders at the Busia border stuck with 200 tonnes of fish for export
By Jane Cherotich
Kenyan fish traders based in Busia County are stuck with at least 200 tonnes of salted fish worth over Ksh.50 million at their 3 main stores.
The fish was destined for export to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Speaking at their stores in Burumba area of Busia town, they have lamented that they have not exported any fish to DRC for the last one month since they are not sure of the safety of their goods due to the ongoing row between Uganda and Kenya.
The over 700 fish traders who have been affected by the standoff have appealed to the Agriculture CS Peter Munya to act with speed and engage his Uganda counterpart in a bid to find an amicable and lasting solution to the problem as some of the fish stuffed in trucks is rotting.
Early last month, officials from the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) at the Mpondwe border in Kasese, Uganda impounded five Kenyan trucks carrying fish destined for DRC.
The irate fish exporters have maintained that they have been delivering truckloads of salted fish from Lake Turkana in Kenya to DRC, wondering why the fish is being impounded hindering business.
They said that according to FPU, the fish impounded last month was immature and from Ugandan lakes, which had been smuggled to Kenya, processed and repackaged for export.
They have further accused the neighbouring Uganda for failing to exercise the promotion of free trade.
The traders say they are uncertain of how they will raise money to settle their loans as it remains unclear if the 200 tonnes of fish will ever be exported.