Nakuru County government will provide fish traders along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway with freezers and cooler boxes in a bid to address the quality and safety of the product.
The county said that the construction of the Kshs. 239 million fish market along the highway would be complete by December this year fully resolving the issue of hawking along the highway.
This follows a warning by the Ministry Health that the fish hawked along the highway was not fit for human consumption.
Reacting to this, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui assured the traders and consumers that the county was keen to resolve the current impasse.
He said that the process of acquiring part-time coolers and freezers had kicked off before the ultra-modern fish market was complete.
“We have heard about the concern from the department of health and we are working with the fish traders to make sure that their products are well stored,” he said.
Speaking in Naivasha, the governor said that the fish market once complete would solve the issue of storage, marketing, processing and value addition.
“We want to assure the fish traders that they will be the first to benefit from this market which will be ready by December this year,” he said.
On their part, the traders defended the quality of the fish sold on the highway terming it as very fresh and fit for human consumption.
One of the traders Peter Kimani termed the warning by the health department as alarming saying that they made sure everyday catch was sold.
He added that the trade was the source of livelihood for tens of families noting that they were keen to enter the new market once complete.
“We want to assure our customers that fish sold along this section of the highway is fit for human consumption and we have never heard of any complaints,” he said.
This was echoed by another trader Elijah Wanyoike who noted that the warning had affected the market adding that they collected their fish stock every day from dams and Lake Naivasha.
“The upcoming market will greatly benefit the fish traders on the highway who have made sure that the fish sold to consumers is well stored,” he said.
A consumer Wainaina Gikonyo defended the fish sold by the traders, noting that he was a regular customer who had benefited from the product.
“We buy fish from this section of the highway every week and it has never affected our health at any time,” he said.