Fish Project Planned At Onakalunga

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources through its target to empower community members and to alleviate the scourge of unemployment in rural areas is optimistic that the Onakalunga aqua-cultural project near Eenhana will be fully operational in the near future.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Charlie Matengu, revealed that funds to get the project rolling have been secured and the set up is expected to be complete within the next financial year. The first phase of the project which includes erecting the fence has already been completed in the 201314 financial year.

The construction of infrastructure, including accommodation, the ponds and storage system among other facilities, are expected to start of soon.

He said the project is aimed at empowering the community through food security, job creation and the alleviation of poverty.

He aised community members to take ownership of the project as a means to sustain themselves.

“Our aim is to intact the skills to train the community members on how to run the farms, however, the community members need to take charge. The project is theirs, they can either sell the fish or sustain themselves,” said Matengu.

The Councillor of Omundaungilo Constituency where the project is situated was content with the initiation of the project.

Festus Ikanda said the project will tackle the burden of unemployment in the area, which he reckons to be very high.

“We have a lot of unemployed youth in the area,” said Ikanda.

He was equally happy that during phase one, the project employed over 50 local community members from the village and surrounding areas.

Ikanda said since the beginning of the project in October last, he has witnessed a 5050 gender quota effected in the recruitment exercise at the project.

He was particularly eager to share that women in his constituency were eager to partake in the work at the project regardless of the nature of the job.

“Here we stick to the 5050 policy. If there are 50 jobs 25 should be allocated to men while the remainder should be allocated to the women,” said Ikanda.

Asked whether contractors abide by the 5050 ration he was quick to say, “We sit and inform the contractors to employ women and men equally.”

It is not certain what fish will be farmed at the Onakalunga aqua-culture project, but Matengu informed that communities in the northern regions include the tilapia or catfish species in the project.

Source : New Era