Tanga’s fishing project pays off

THE numbers of women participating in fishing in Tanga have gone up thanks to a 400m/- empowering project in the region last year.

The project enable women to take hooks and defy odds that fishing is the men’s job as each groups comprising a ten members who are entirely women.

The groups namely Uchokoaji and Ulezi, are both in Mwarongo, a known fishing community on the city along the coast of the Indian Ocean.

In coastal communities, men typically hold the majority of the fishing jobs. Women are primarily responsible for most of the skilled and labour-intensive tasks that are carried out onshore.

Tanga City Council, Fisheries Officer, Omari Ali Mohammed said the main women task include making and repairing fishing nets and processing and marketing of the fish.

“With the launch of the project, the community can expect an improvement in job prospects, both as employees and entrepreneurs, particularly among young people,” Mr Mohammed said.

A total of 400 young women and men have been registered as beneficiaries of the project which has six components namely fish farming, mud crab farming, seaweed and sea cucumber farming, long line fishing with fibre boats, sardine drying using solar, and upgrading the Machui shrimp and crab hatchery.

Mr Mohammed anticipates that the project will be extremely important in enhancing Tanga’s local economy where its gives the adults the chance to support themselves and become self-sufficient in both aquaculture and conventional fishing methods.

The Tanga City Council, the Ministry of Fisheries, and the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) have partnered to bring about the social transformation along the coastal line.

The three organisations are working together to carry out an initiative designed to foster gender equality in the fishing industry while the Botnar Foundation, a Swiss philanthropic organisation, is funding the project. Testimonies from members of different categories reveal great optimism about the way the project will transform their livelihoods.

Jumaa Mbwana, a young fisherman in Sahare Kijijini, and Saumu Mtondoo, a seaweed farmer at Mchukuuni, both live in the parameters of the city council, attest to the positive impact of the project on their businesses.

Mr Mbwana said he graduated from merely an ordinary fisherman working for other to a boat owner through the project.

“With this boat we own, we believe that life will improve over time,” Mr Mbwana, who is also the Chairman of Sahare Youth Sustainable Fishing Group, said.

Ms Mtondoo said she has seen a significant improvement in her working conditions and has yielded better outcomes.

“We can make ends meet, send our children to school, and eat well. There is no need to sit idle. There are profits out from the sea,” she said.

Abdallah Swalehe, the Secretary of the Sahare Youth Sustainable Fishing Group, pointed out a challenge in the given readymade processing equipment to each fishing group regardless others specific need.

“This may lead to certain groups receiving inappropriate tools, which could negatively affect their operations,” he said.

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