Dorothy Mbayagi: On a normal day you would see canoes docking and undocking at the shore of the beach. Some are for passengers’ others are just from fishing. Since the beach is right next to a major town in the region, most people living on the other side of the waters, would sail in for various reasons such as government services, visiting the hospital or going to work.
Homa Bay is a County situated at the Western Region of Kenya. The majority community living in this area is the Luo community. It is bordered by 4 counties namely; Kisumu, Nyamira, Kisii and Migori. The western part of the county is bordering the Lake Victoria.
The place has various tourist sites such as the Ruma National Park, Rusinga Island, Takawiri Island, Simbi Nyaima a small inland lake, Beach along Lake Victoria, Tom Mboya Mausoleum just but to mention a few.
I got the chance to visit one of the beaches along Lake Victoria that is near the Town of Homa Bay and is buzz with activities. The main income generating activity for the people living in this region is Fish Farming since the earlier days of civilization.
On a normal day you would see canoes docking and undocking at the shore of the beach. Some are for passengers’ others are just from fishing. Since the beach is right next to a major town in the region, most people living on the other side of the waters, would sail in for various reasons such as government services, visiting the hospital or going to work. The water alongside the lake is not conducive for swimming at this beach area.
About fishing, Lake Victoria is a fresh water lake. The main fish from this lake is the Nile Tilapia and its one of the sweetest I have ever tasted. The fish harvested is sold to Fish Companies who have the equipment for processing and packaging to be sold in up-market areas or export to other countries. The local individual who have enough resources can buy from the fishermen and sell to the local markets for citizen buyers.
There are hotels around Homa Bay town and next to the beach that prepare the fish dishes at a very affordable price or one can carry it back home and prepare the way you like.
One of the major challenges in this area is that majority of the individual buyers are females, some of them do not have enough capital necessary to maintain their stock and meet the demands of the market. This leads to ‘Jaboya’ which is a Luo name meaning ‘Sex for Fish’, leading to the spread of HIV/AIDS in this region.
Campaigns against ‘Sex for Fish’ by Government and Non-Governmental Organizations has empowered some of these women with financial skills and other alternative income generating activities to sustain their families.
One more thing, there are boats available for ferrying people to and fro Homa Bay town at an affordable cost. If you are an adventurous person and you want to sail on the waters of Lake Victoria, why not take a boat ride and enjoy the local cooked fish at a hotel in Homa Bay town.
Words: Dorothy Mbayagi
Photos: Dorothy Mbayagi and Wikimedia
About the author: Mbayagi is an Accountant by profession and a Humanitarian. She likes to explore and know stories behind everything that is interesting. She loves travelling and has started with her Country Kenya been to over 10 places and counting. She loves food, children and meeting nice people.