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Fish leather manufacture in Kenya provides jobs for women

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On the shores of the lakeside city of Kisumu in Kenya a new industry is growing.

What was once a waste material is now being used to produce new and desirable products.

The process starts with scaling fish skins that will eventually be made into leather shoes, wallets or belts.

The process starts with a group of around 80 women who are experts at this task. 

"We usually process these fish skins and sell them to people who are going to make shoes, belts and handbags. I have done this work for 20 years and it has been of great help to me as I am able to fend for my children and pay for their school fees. This work helps us as women but men find it difficult to remain seated from 8am to 4pm. It is very simple for us as women and that is why we are benefiting from it", said 38-year-old fish skin seller, Celine Adhiambo. 

Once ready, the skins are then bought by businessman Newton Owino who spotted an opportunity in the market due to increased demand for leather from non-traditional sources.

Owino exports his products to foreign markets that mainly include Canada, United States, Denmark, Ethiopia and South Africa.

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