Ebola Congo's Ebola outbreak leaves Kenyan fishmongers' livelihood hanging in the balance

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DRC imports an average of 89,000 tonnes of fish, mainly from Lake Turkana, to meet its domestic consumption.

play Turkana men sail their fishing boats near the shores of Lake Turkana. (Pinterest)

 

  • The DRC government on Tuesday declared the outbreak which has been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • DR Congo is the main market for Lake Turkana fish and the commercial business now hangs in the balance.
  • DRC imports an average of 89,000 tonnes of fish, mainly from Lake Turkana, to meet its domestic consumption.

Thousands of miles away from Lake Tumba, Congo, the Ebola outbreak is having a negative impact on the communities living on the shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya.

The outbreak has hit residents of Turkana County who depend on fishing as their main economic activity.

play A man hangs fish to dry on the western shore of Lake Turkana. (Times LIVE)

 

The traders are now incurring losses running into millions of shillings as the fish prices nosedive due to unstable markets.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been battling the virus since April 4,  is the main market for Lake Turkana fish and the commercial business now hangs in the balance.

This is after some business people began pulling out of the trade following a decision by some countries that border DRC to introduce stringent health restriction to contain the spread of the dreaded disease.

play The traders are now incurring losses running into millions of shillings as the fish prices nosedive due to unstable markets. (irinnews)

 

Traders at the five Beach Management Units (BMUs) in Lake Turkana now live life not knowing what the future holds for them as they watch their earnings rapidly dwindle.

“The DRC is our main external market for fish and the outbreak of Ebola virus in the country has impacted negatively on our businesses,” said John Loiritei Mame, Chairman Impressa group.

Mr. Loiritei says fish prices have fallen since the outbreak from an average of Sh400 to Sh200 apiece as the produce is sold at throw-away prices in the saturated local market.

“Local traders are taking advantage of lack of our main market in DRC to exploit fishmongers by offering them low prices,” said Stephen Ekal Ekuwom, a BMU official.

Also read: FOOD AID MAY SOON BE A THING OF THE PAST IN TURKANA COUNTY

play It is the ninth time an Ebola outbreak has been reported in DRC since 1976 (SABC News)

 

Trade assessment report by Indian Ocean Commission indicates that DRC imports an average of 89,000 tonnes of fish, mainly from Lake Turkana, to meet its domestic consumption.

The DRC government on Tuesday declared the outbreak which has been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The World Health Organization reported on Thursday that 27 total cases of fever with hemorrhagic symptoms were recorded in the Bikoro region between April 4 and May 5, including 17 deaths. Of these total cases, two tested positive for Ebola virus disease, according to the WHO.

play The DRC government on Tuesday declared the outbreak which has been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). (cnn)

Bikoro is situated in Equateur Province on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of the Congo.

It is the ninth time an Ebola outbreak has been reported in DRC since 1976, forcing neighbouring countries to heighten border surveillance.

Kenya on its hand has heightened its surveillance and the Ministry of Health is conducting routine screening of all travellers at entry points, including Busia and Malaba.

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