At least 30 fish farmers in Mzimba District have heaved a sigh of relief following the start of rehabilitation works of their fishponds by M’mbelwa District Council.
The rehabilitation of the fish ponds in Mzimba South is being funded through a K40 million grant from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), as part of Afikepo’s Performance Based Incentive (PBI) Programme which is aimed at promoting nutrition among communities.
One of the farmers, Rose Ndawandawa, from Champhinga area in Traditional Authority (T/A) M’mbelwa, said the rehabilitation of her fish ponds will make her harvest a lot of fish and hence fetch a lot of money from her fish business.
Another farmer, Dan Mhone from Chikangawa in T/A Kampingo Sibande, also said he has embraced the project and that he hopes to raise more fish and supply to the markets around the area.
‘‘I may have been a farmer but I have never raised over 3,000 fingerlings but because of this initiative I am expected to raise over 3,000 fingerlings on this fish pond. I hope to make a lot of profits from the sales,’’ Mhone said.
Mzimba District was awarded the grant for emerging second best in scaling up nutrition interventions.
According to M’mbelwa District Council’s nutrition officer Gift Simkonda, by using part of the K40 miilion funding, the council has started rehabilitating 30 fish ponds at Manyamula, Kazomba, Champhira, Chikangawa, Vibangalala and Khosolo, all in Mzimba South.
‘‘The rehabilitation of these 30 fish ponds will ensure their functionality and this will translate in a lot of fish being raised and produced by the farmers which we hope will over-supply the markets in these areas and there won’t be scarcity of fish for people to buy,’’ said Simkonda.
According to Mzimba District Fisheries Officer Andrew Saukani, the fishponds rehabilitation works involve expansion of finds ponds, improving draining systems, strengthening pond structures and infrastructures, as well as provision of fingerlings.
Reported by Joel Phiri