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Monday, December 6, 2021

The Government’s ‘Mvuvi Cards’ remain a pipedream for Lamu fishermen.

By Moses Ochengo

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The government has so far failed to provide the ‘Mvuvi Cards’ meant to improve security for the Lamu fishermen, despite the programme being unveiled in 2018.

According the initiative’s launch 3 years ago, the state was supposed to dispatch the smart cards to over 6,000 fishermen in Lamu County, in an effort to deter insecurity.

The ‘Mvuvi Cards’ were supposed to be fitted with security microchips that would enable the police and marine patrol agencies to track the location of fishermen on sea.

The microchips were also to provide surveillance information that will enable the patrolling police to nab criminals and deter other criminal activities.

The security cards were to be to display fishermen’s identification details such as ID number, a unique serialization and respective beach management units (BMUs).

However, the government is yet to roll out its security programme launched more than 3 years ago.

Mohamed Somo, chairperson of the Lamu BMU Network, has appealed to the government to revisit its commitment, to enable fishermen’s activities. Mr Somo decried of the annoyance of being meted with harsh restrictions that affect their livelihoods which depend on fishing.

“We were happy when the government announced the plan to issue Mvuvi Cards. They took our photos and registered us. We’re surprised that no one has received the document. The State is also not giving us updates on the cards,” he said.

The Lamu fishermen spokesperson Abubakar Twalib, has also called on the government to liaise with the local residents to provide update on the initiative.

“They are silent on the Mvuvi Card. My concern is on whether all the fishermen will get the card if they finally go ahead to implement the programme. We welcome the plan but let it be done in a transparent and all-inclusive manner,” he said.

Despite the Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia announcing that the smart cards were to be issued by December last year, but the programme still remains a pipedream.

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