The Department of public health has expressed concerns about the rampant hawking of fish on major highways in Naivasha.
A senior official termed the practice a “health hazard”, as more youths join the trade. The official called for proper fish handling, including preserving it in refrigerated containers to avoid contamination.
“It is shocking to see the number of people involved in the illegal sale of fish and this might lead to food-borne illnesses,” said the official.
The department has discouraged consumers from purchasing fish from unlicensed outlets and raised the red flag over the mode of transporting the delicacy.
“We cannot even be sure where the fish has been sourced from,” added the official who called for close coordination between the fisheries department and public health officers to halt the business.
He also called for the building of special facilities for degutting fish.
Unlicensed fish sellers have been hawking fish for years along the busy Nairobi-Naivasha and the Naivasha-Maai Mahiu highways without adhering to food-handling procedures.
The official, who declined to be named because of protocol issues, said fish is perishable and needs proper handling.
Recently, the Nakuru County government, in conjunction with development partners, began building a Sh240 million modern fish market at Kinungi, on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the first phase of the project will cost Sh80 million, with the county contributing at least Sh10 million while the partners will provide Sh70 million.
He said the plan comprises several projects, including water harvesting, stalls for vegetable vendors and commercially-run public sanitary facilities.
The core function will be a fish market with a value addition component. The project is expected to be completed this year. More than 300 modern stalls in an eco-friendly environment will also be set up.
Source: Business Daily Africa