I KNOW that a lot of people are scared to come to the north because of the floods that have devastated many villages and displaced thousands of people.
Those who never visited their families for the past five years now have a better reason to stay away but for business’ sake. I urge them to come home because floods have come with blessings of catfish that is a delicacy in the north.
Last weekend, I decided to visit the most flooded Uupindi informal settlement in Oshakati. Most of the houses are deserted because of floodwater. When I went knocking from door to door, I realised that in one house there was a man who had decided not to join the rest of the people at the reception areas. I asked him what he was doing since the whole house was underwater.
He told me he was not ready to go because he was busy fishing.
I asked where he was fishing. He quickly answered that he was fishing in his own bedroom. Apparently his bed is up with the help of bricks – up to a knee level. He lay on his bed while casting his fishing line in water. What a thing!
Some of the people who stay at the reception areas commute to Okandjengendi Bridge every morning to fish with mosquito nets issued by the Government and its implementing partners.
One has to be patient during the rush hour to work early in the morning. You have to drive slowly because bridges around Oshakati have become strategic places for fishing and as a driver you have to stop when the fisherman lands their catch. Otherwise, the fish will hit the windscreen.
Kapana business in Oshakati town has come to a halt. There is free fish, which is also cheap unlike goat meat and beef.
One does not dig too deep in the pocket to buy fish. Their prices rival those of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Fish Consumption Promotion.
I visited the Fish Consumption Promotion Shop in Ongwediva and I could only see few customers. I advised the manager to consider adding a new stock of catfish in their shop if they want to make a profit.
Like any other business, catfish business has its challenges when it comes to customers.
The only customers are the working group who maybe busy even during launch time. Some of them are spending their lunchtime fishing also. It does not take 10 minutes to make a catch. I guess fishermen are looking for markets outside Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati and Ohangwena because there is a lot of fish in these regions.
One does not need to worry about diseases by consuming these fish the health directorate makes it clear that as long as you cook them thoroughly there won’t be any problem.