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32 fishermen trapped in Lake Victoria rescued

KISUMU, Kenya, Sept 1 – Some 32 fishermen who were stuck in Lake Victoria after weeds blocked their sailing routes have been rescued by a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) helicopter.

Western Kenya Red Cross society coordinator Emmanuel Owako said the fishermen were evacuated from the lake on Friday evening after being stuck in the waters for over three days.

“All the fishermen have now been accounted for and we thank all those who were involved in the search and rescue mission,” he said.

The fishermen were heading to landing beaches from their fishing missions when strong winds blew a heavy blanket of water hyacinth onto their fishing vessels.

“Cases of fishermen getting trapped in the Lake have been on the rise as the stubborn weed spreads and we would like the issue addressed once and for all,” said Owako.

Nyanza Deputy Police boss Larry Kieng warned visitors to avoid taking boat rides on the lake.

This is after students from a school in Limuru got trapped in the lake for hours after their boats were ensnared by the weed at Lwang’ni beach in Kisumu before they were pulled out.

Area residents said the water hyacinth menace had adversely affected fishing activities in the area.

“If this problem continues, we will all be rendered jobless,” warned fisherman Joe Okwatch.

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