Street children turn to informal fishing  

MWANZA: SOME street children in Mwanza City have decided to abandon begging, embarking on informal fishing to earn living.

A16-year old street boy, Hamisi Yohana, designed a boat-like structure using buoys, ropes and sacks, after which  he  made trials on Lake Victoria waters in August last year at Kamanga Beach at  Capri Point Street, Nyamagana Ward.

He sailed some kilometres away on Lake Victoria, and came back with three fish, whose price cost was 10,000/-, each, marking the end of his previous undertaking (begging).

“Fishing pays-off, it helps me to earn a living. I have never earned the money street in a single day the money I earned when I went out to fishing. My friends followed me. We are almost 30 here, practicing fish-hook for our survival.”

“We are also competent in swimming, in case of storms. We do not allow those under 10 years old to go to deep waters as they cannot manage long-distance swimming,” the boy told the Sunday News recently.

However, the boys are in need of modern fishing tools, calling on government and stakeholders’ support as well as formalization of their business.

His colleague, Juma Abdul, commented that once empowered, they would also support the war against illegal fishing because they are aware of where such evil practice takes place in the Lake.

Economist at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), Dr Isaac Safari, urged the government to help the boys, saying that they are prospective economic drivers through the fishing sector.

The government should connect the boys with street children serving organizations, for knowledge sharing and talents’ development.

“The government therefore should provide the support to those organizations. The boys are a very important resource, we should not let them go,” advised Dr Safari.

Capri-Point Street local government leader  Mr Stephen Agalla, supported the idea, saying that the boys can also be  connected to the Mwanza-based Fisheries Education and Training Agency, for knowledge sharpening.

“As of now, we advise them to rent rooms so as to ease their recognition in local government offices. I think this could be a proper way to assist whenever income generating programmes are crafted and implemented in the area,” he said.

Nyamagana District Commissioner, Ms Amina Makilagi, commented that currently, the government focuses on re-uniting the street children with their families.

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