The villages around the shores of Lake Turkana, in Kenya's remote border region with Ethiopia, have been given a new lease on life in the past three years.
GV & SV Fishermen in wooden boat hauling in nets with fish (2 shots)
SV man fishing from doum palm raft
SV & CU Other fishermen hauling in their nets
SV Fishing boat surrounded by birds on edge of lake
SV Villagers under palm trees on lakeshore with village huts in background (4 shots).
SV& CU fish being smoked and sorted (2 shots).
SV & CU fish being gutted and laid out to dry (2 shots)
SV & CU fish being weighed by Co-operative officials (2 shots).
SV & GV gutted fish being loaded into refrigerated truck (2 shots)
GV New freezing and gutting factory being erected at Kalokol
GCU Norwegian Company sign & Kenyan workers (2 shots)
CU Norwegian construction workers using theodolite & rule (2 shots)
GV Kenyan workers carrying building materials.
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Background: The villages around the shores of Lake Turkana, in Kenya's remote border region with Ethiopia, have been given a new lease on life in the past three years. In the early sixties, entire herds of camels, cattle and livestock died in a severe drought and thousands of villagers found themselves destitute and able to survive only as a result of famine relief from the government. Today those villagers, thanks to a successful scheme devised and operated by the Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD) a government aid organisation, are enjoying the fruits of the Turkana Fisherman's Co-Operative Society, an over two million dollar industry.
SYNOPSIS: Until the Norwegian agency stepped in, relatively few Turkana had any experience of fishing, and then only with cumbersome basket traps. Today, over three thousand fishermen, using modern sein nets, sell well over one thousand tons of fish to the Society, through six collection centres spread over the one hundred and thirty mile (210 km) shoreline.
Norwegian economic Kristian Fremstad, who conceived and now runs the Co-Operative Society, claims that Lake Turkana is one of the richest fishing grounds in the World. Although very seasonal, up to forty tons of fish a day can be taken. But government fisheries officers are worried about the threat to wildlife posed by some permanent fishing encampments. They claim some action is needed to protect Central Island's breeding crocodiles and birdlife.
The Co-operative, considered one of the most successful of its kind in Kenya, prepares fish for sale in four different ways - smoked, salted, sun-dried and fresh. Many varieties are used in the doum palm smoking kiln, including species not marketable in other forms. Some six hundred tons of salted fish is sold through the Society, annually. Much of it shipped to Zaire as return cargo for trucks bringing coffee from Zaire to Mombasa. The local demand for this sun-dried Tilapia is greater than the supply.
Up to fifty tons a month of fresh fish are sold by the Co-Operative directly to one buyer - a company in Nairobi. Insulated ice-trucks make the long trip regularly between Kalokol and the Kenya capital.
And a new marketing venture is close to completion. A Norwegian filleting and freezing plant will process mainly Tilapis and Nile perch for ready markets in Nairobi. But export demand is high, and the Co-operative is exploring possibly markets in the Middle East as well.
The plant, being build in Kalokol, will be financed ninety percent by NORAD, as a gift to the people of Turkana. The other ten percent of the costs, will be born by the Co-Operative. The job of running the Co-Operative's affairs will soon be taken out from its creator by a local accountant, Emmanual Imaine.