Ohangwena communities to benefit from fish farming initiative

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The Councillor of Omundaungilo constituency, Festus Ikanda (L) at the site handover of the fish farm with Gerrit de Waal (C) the contractor and Gabriel Ndulumba from the department of works (R) last week Thursday.

EENHANA – The Omundaungilo constituency in the Ohangwena Region will soon become a centre for fish farming.

Senior Inspector in the Ministry of Works and Transport’s department of works, Gabriel Ndulumba, said construction of phase 1 of the project will start on February 14, while the entire project will take until April to complete. The project will integrate fish farming into the already existing agricultural activities such as growing mahangu and other horticulture projects in the region.

Phase one will include the de-bushing of the project site and fencing. Ndumbula says chronically poor rural households in the Ohangwena Region, especially the marginalised San people often referred to as ‘Kwangalas’ in the north will benefit most from the project.

“For the rural poor in our region, food security will require food production, which relies on among other factors, reliable and sustainable production systems that complement the multi-functionality of agriculture in Namibia,” said Ndumbula. Also present at the site handover ceremony was the councillor of the constituency, Festus Ikanda, who noted most of the families are living in close proximity to communal water resources, which are largely underutilized. Huge underwater resources have been discovered in the Ohangwena Region recently. Ikanda said the introduction of aquaculture in the region through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources will improve the region’s per capita fish consumption and graduate hundreds of households to decent income thresholds. “This N$1.3 million project is set to mark a special announcement on other Namibian policymakers and the relevant line stakeholders to change their mindsets and focus on mainstreaming aquaculture and the fisheries sector and to recognize its potential impact on the economy’s GDP,” Ikanda said.

The project will provide nutritional supplements for about 500 households in the region. “We have realized that the Ohangwena Region is a drought-prone region that is currently experiencing critical nutritional levels.  We shall give this project a total of 150 000 fish as stock to kickstart it. The fish to be distributed will have a survival rate of 99 percent,” said Ikanda. More than thirty people, mainly women and youths from the region will be employed directly as of next week, while others will receive training. The tender for the Onakalunga fish farm was awarded to Gerrit De Waal of Linze Construction, a company based in Oshikango. The fish farm will be constructed some 40 km east of the capital of the Ohangwena Region, Eenhana, in the Omundangilo constituency.

 

By Clemence Tashaya

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