Fishing Community Decry Lack Of Power To The Sh140 Million Sori Fish Processing Plant

The management of the Sori Beach in Nyatike Sub County-Migori has urged the relevant authorities to connect the Sori fish processing plant with electricity to utilise its full potential.

The fish plant that was constructed by the national government at a cost of Sh140 million was officially launched in 2022 but it’s yet to reach its full operational capacity due to a lack of electricity supply.

According to a recent investigation by KNA, fishermen are compelled to utilise generators, citing the high costs associated with running and purchasing fuel.

Sori Beach Management Unity (BMU) Chairperson Maxwell Ogola said that the lack of electricity connectivity has hindered the full operations of the fish processing plant in Lake Victoria.

Although the plant is installed with Solar Panels and a backup generator, Ogola noted that the two cannot effectively operate the ice-making machine that is needed to produce ice for fish preservation.

Sori plant has a capacity of processing over 100 tonnes of fish per day a
nd it was expected to encourage aquaculture in the area and provide employment to hundreds of people in Migori County. However, according to Ogola, this cannot be achieved if the facility isn’t connected to electricity to tap into its full operational capabilities.

‘When the generator was being installed in this plant it was meant to serve the purpose of a power backup. But we have been forced to utilise it on our daily operations because of lack of electricity’, bewailed Ogola.

Ogola disclosed that they have been fueling the generator at a cost of Sh14,000 translating to around 80 litres of diesel to produce 10 bags of ice. He says that BMU then sell the ice to fishermen at a cost of Sh1,000 per bag making a loss of Sh4,000 in the process.

The official called upon the county and the national governments to assist the Sori fishing community by installing electricity to boost their fishing ventures and reduce fish spoilage and waste due to the lack of ice in their cold rooms.

Harizon Kisiara, a fisherman f
rom Sori lamented that despite having a modern facility with running water, an ice-making machine and a cold room, the majority of fish was going to waste yet a lot of energy and sacrifices have been made by those in the lake to catch the fish.

Nyatike Member of Parliament Tom Odege expressed his concern regarding the prolonged duration the fish processing plant is taking to benefit the community.

Odege acknowledged the plant’s power deficiency and assured the Nyatike Fishing community that he was committed to working with both the county and the national government to ensure power is installed at the facility to realise its full capabilities.

Source: Kenya News Agency