Lake Ngami residents want fishing reinstated

Uzeuavi Mbaeva - NE correspondent
Friday, 02 September 2016
Lake Ngami residents want fishing reinstated

About two years now since the suspension of fishing at Lake Ngami, residents and wildlife officials are spending sleepless nights over illegal fishing which is hitting the area.Residents depended more on fishing for their livelihood, which led to the influx of fishermen from other districts to the lake.

This led to environment pollution because there were no ablutions and this subsequently forced the Ministry of Wildlife and National Parks to suspend fishing in the area as this was also causing conflicts between farmers and fishermen.Residents told vice president Mokweetsi Masisi in a kgotla meeting in Sehithwa recently that they are fishing illegally because of starvation, saying they depended on fish for survival.

Some were also left idling after getting loans from Youth Development Fund with the intention of investing in fish.Lake Ngami Conservation Trust Chairperson, Frisco Gabokakangwe requested that the vice president should talk to the appropriate ministry that they want the fishing to resume as they are being hit by hunger, which is already making them destitute.The chairperson promised that they would follow all the procedures to avoid pollution of land, which forced the suspension of fishing while they are waiting for environmental impact assessment study to be completed.

Another resident, Zacharia Nguvauva wanted to know about the youth who took loans from Youth Development Fund with the intention of investing in fish, saying they are now just in limbo. Nguvauva said the youth should resume fishing at the lake as soon as possible because it seems like the lake is drying up, and that will impact on fish.Member of Parliament for Ngami, Thato Kwerepe blamed the banning of fish on the increasing crime in the district as people were now fishing illegally.

The MP also put the blame on the environmental impact assessment study for delaying the advances that were made at the lake for fishing to resume.However, the vice president Masisi told residents that he will contact the appropriate ministry so that they resume fishing, adding that the government is intending to introduce fish farming with an aim to take fish business to another level. Masisi said they have already hired experts at the office of the president that will help the residents and impart knowledge on them about fish farming.“The minister of wildlife is working around the clock to resume fishing in your area”, he said.

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