Locals in Lamu are urging the government to lift the ban on game meat, particularly turtle meat, which they claim is of great medicinal value.
The residents claim that besides supu ya pweza (octopus soup), turtle meat is another commonly used local aphrodisiac and that they have been using it to hold marriages together.
According to the recently revised and published Wildlife Act, anyone hunting wildlife such as turtles is liable for a Sh1 million fine or two years’ imprisonment or both.
This has seen local men go slow on hunting and use of turtles as an aphrodisiac, which they now blame their low libido and disintegration of marriages on.
Residents of Kizingitini in Lamu East want the government to allow them to continue hunting and eating turtles, insisting that besides the aphrodisiac properties in the meat, it also has medicinal value, which they are greatly missing.
“Our health has negatively been impacted by the ban after it was imposed a while back and we want it lifted,” said Kazungu, a local.
While decrying and blaming their low sex drive on the ban, the locals are begging the government to instead set limits on the number of turtles they are allowed to trap, in order to address their health issues.
Kai, a local fisherman, is quoted saying that some marriages now hang in the balance, now that men no longer have access to the tried and tested libido booster.
But Mike Olendo, a local wildlife officer remained adamant, saying turtle populations across the world are dwindling due to numerous reasons, among them misleading beliefs such as this one on their nutritional value.