Monday, 28 March 2011

Lake Victoria fishermen loaned modern boats

From IPPMedia/The Guardian, Dar es Salaam
By Cosmas Mlekani

Fishermen in Lake Victoria have been advised to undertake good fishing practices in order to make fishing activities in the lake sustainable.

This was said recently by Mwanza regional fisheries officer Angelus Mahatane at the launch of modern fishing boats that will be given to fishermen on a loan basis.

He warned that statistics had shown that the Nile Perch was disappearing at an alarming rate from the lake, whereby by the year 2000, there was a total of 1.3 tonnes of them but by February 2010 only 366,000 tonnes remained.

He said Lake Victoria was very important for the Tanzanian economy because of the numerous activities that go on in and around the lake.

He said the decline in fish stocks caused some unfaithful fishermen to use illegal fishing gear in conducting their activities, thus rendering the fishing industry unsustainable.

He said the boats loaned out to small fishermen would help them change from the use of locally made fishing gear to modern ones and therefore, improve their efficiency.

Mahatane said that out of 26,983 fishing boats only 8,081 were using engines in Mwanza, Kagera and Mara regions, equivalent to only 30 per cent. Mara region has a total of 1,209 fishing boats with engines; Mwanza has 4,691 out of 14,166 and Kagera has 2,181 out of 6,683.

For his part, Quality Motors manager Theshadri Madhusodha, whose company supplied the boats, said the purpose was to give the boats to small fishermen as loans so that the latter would improve their efficiency and let their businesses grow.

He said his company decided to venture into competition after realizing that if small fishermen were empowered, they could perform better.

For her part, assistant regional administrative officer Isabella Mariki said the boats would boost the fishermen’s businesses and therefore, the economy of the Lake Zone.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Bilal condemns illegal fishing

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Correspondent
Vice President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal has condemned the use of monofilament and other illegal fishing gear, which are killing fish and destroying the environment in Lake Victoria.

“Lake Victoria is important for the economy of the people of Mwanza. Conserve the lake for the benefit of the future generations by using appropriate fishing gear,” he told a public rally in Sengerema during his tour of Mwanza Region to inspect development activities.

Sengerema district commissioner, Elinasi Pallangyo told the Vice President that 83 Beach Management Units (BMUs) were regularly patrolling the lake in 17 wards to curb the use of the illegal fishing gear, and that 72 such items had been impounded.

He said that despite the challenges, the government earned Sh12.2 million from fishing licence fees and Sh1.4 million worth of royalty between October and December last year.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Rock City: A sleeping tourist hub

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Elisha Mayallah

I was awoken by the sound of a horn from the ferry and housekeepers talking merrily to one another as they prepared themselves for another busy day at the Tilapia Hotel in Mwanza recently.

I had been in the city for three days and enjoyed a banquet of experiences, and all too soon the richness of all different species of fish delicacies, from the Tilapia hotel to the famous Nile Perch were on my daily menu.

During my last visit, there was heavy rainfall throughout the whole region. This time the worst drought in memory was ravaging the region. Many things had changed since when I was a resident here, in the late 70s and early 80s.

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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Police impound Sh18 million in fake notes

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Frederick Katulanda, The Citizen Reporter

Police in Mwanza Region have seized 1,865 fake banknotes with a purported value of Sh18,655,000 in separate swoops, arresting six suspects in the process.All the impounded notes in denominations of Sh10,000 and Sh5,000 resemble those that were recently released by the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), and most bore serial numbers AC 0004716, BD 0100095 and BX 4086370.

The acting Mwanza regional police commander, Mr Deusdedit Nsimike, told a news conference here yesterday the fakes were seized between March 7 and 16. According to Mr Nsimike, who is also the region’s crimes officer, the police launched a special operation to crack down on the fraudsters following a tip-off from the public.

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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Why Chadema rallies draw thousands

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Ray Naluyaga, The Citizen Bureau Chief

Mwanza. The capacity to address hardships that face the people in a plain language and gestures that resonate with many is the cause for Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) rise in popularity across the country, social commentators and analysts say.

And nowhere else than in the Lake Zone has the passion for the opposition party increased in leaps and bounds, especially following last year’s General Election in which many voters deserted the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

Being the most populous area in the country, the Lake Zone has over the years enjoyed relatively low cost of living, with the majority of its residents earning their income from diverse economic activities.

The region has abundant livestock and cash crops such as cotton, and it covers Lake Victoria that has been able to generate employment for thousands of people directly and indirectly. The area is also known for large availability of minerals, especially gold, which had enriched many through artisanal mining before privatisation.

But this wealth has for the past ten years been shifting from the people through privatisation, as the lucrative activities formerly done by individuals directly are now taken over by foreign companies, with the people left to seek other means of survival.

That, coupled with the current high cost of fuel, which now sells at Sh2100 a litre, exorbitant food prices and hiked cost of electricity, have automatically sent the consumer price index higher, leaving many people in the region unable to afford basic goods, and hence the disenchantment with the ruling establishment and its policies.

Mr Enock Abdufundo, a taxi driver who participated in the Mwanza demo held over a week ago, says he supports Chadema because its leadership understands what the common man is going through.

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