Fish traders in Kalabo District in Western Province have staged a peaceful demonstration against the extension of the annual fish ban from 1st March to 30th April 2018.
The over one hundred traders who matched to the office of the District Commissioner said government must consider lifting the fishing ban in order to alleviate household poverty.
One of the traders Pelekelo Chalula noted that fishing is the main source of livelihoods for people in the area.
Ms. Chalula said proceeds from fish trade are used to enhance household economy, send children to school, look after the vulnerable and strengthen family ties.
Another trader, Oliver Mafo stated that floods have ravaged crop fields forcing some farmers to venture into fish trade to enable them look after their families.
Mr. Mafo noted that extending the fishing ban had potential to promote illegal activities such as poaching as a way of earning income.
The traders have since appealed to government to allow them to only carry out fishing activities within the district so that they are not subjected to the Cholera epidemic affecting urban areas.
And justifying the protest, Luanginga Ward Councilor Francis Mungomba compared the area’s fishing sector to a mine that offers employment to many local people.
Mr. Mungomba disclosed that fishing is an economic engine that drives the local economy of Kalabo as the proceeds sustain both household families and business outlets.
And Kalabo District Commissioner, Fridah Luhila said government has taken note of the concerns raised by the fish traders.
Mrs. Luhila said government will consult key stakeholders before responding to the traders’ concerns.