OVER 170 families in Nyanga are set to benefit from fish farming projects being spearheaded by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) with the view to improve food security in the district.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
EMA was facilitating the training of villagers in collaboration with Voice of Africa Trust and the Livestock Production Development.
The environment watchdog told journalists on Thursday during a tour of Nyamuenda Wetland and fish pond in Nyatondo village under headman Mapeta Hata and Chief Kadzima Hata that the projects would improve the standard of living of villagers.
Acting Nyanga District environment officer Daniel Manzou said the project also involved the protection of wetlands.
“We realised that it does not mean anything by just protecting wetlands by fencing them. That is why we came with the idea of fish farming and having fish ponds so that our villagers will breed fish for consumption and selling so that their lives can be improved,” he told journalist.
“We managed to do this from the environmental grant that we were given by Ema to buy fence, polls , bream fish and to provide training for the villagers.”
Manzou, however, said the project was facing challenges from birds that ate fish from the ponds.
Ema Manicaland provincial manager Kingston Chitotombe said: “We realised that the wetland had overgrown and we had to come up with ways that had to benefit the society and we encourage them to engage in fish farming and everything is going on well.”
Secretary-general of Nyamuenda fish project Tapiwa Chirangwa said the project had changed the lives of villagers.
She said most members had pulled out due to lack of proper training and the numerous difficulties they encountered.
Nyamuenda said Ema joined hands with Konde Water project after the realisation of the potential to expand the fish farming business resulting in the creation of 28 fish ponds.
“We feed the fish using the tea bag system. We give them pig and goat dung as well as pellets. The project has changed our lives after the intervention and we now have the skills of farming fish,” she said.
Long serving committee member and former civil servant Jane Nyarangwa said when the project initially started in 1989, there were only 10 women who were engaged in breeding pigs.
“We were told that pigs dung was vital in bream fish feeding and were encouraged to dig small dams,” Nyarangwa said.
“But it was not that successful that time I was working at the Ministry of National Community Cooperatives and we encouraged women to participate in income generating projects.”