There was jubilation on Monday at Dema Catchment Area in Traditional Authority Kanyenda in Nkhotakota when community members harvested their fish raised under the Enhanced Public Works Programme (EPWP).
The programme, which was piloted in 10 districts in 2020, sought to strengthen households’ resilience to climate change shocks and create durable community assets such as fish ponds and forests.
Speaking after the harvest, Dema Catchment Area chairperson Moven Chikuse said the outcome of their hard work called for a celebration.
He said: “We harvested 116 kilogrammes (kg) which we sold at K2 000 per kg.
“We have deposited some cash and we will loan the remainder to members through village savings and loans groups.”
He said besides realising money, the fish from the pond will improve the nutrition status of people in the community.
The pond’s chairperson Danford Dzimbiri said they will source more fingerings to expand the pond.
“We want to make more profits so that members should transform their lives through the project,” he said.
One of the community members, Geoffrey Sichinga, hailed the group’s hardworking spirit.
“We see them toil in the sun and rain to feed and take care of the fish. If they continue working hard, they will achieve a lot together,” he said.
Nkhotakota District Council liaison officer Steven Matemba also commended Dema Catchment Area for the success and called on other catchments to emulate the example.
He said: “It’s encouraging seeing how the people are organising themselves under the EPWP.
“You know fish is a good source of proteins and people get income from the sales.”
With funding from the World Bank and GIZ, the EPWP was piloted in Kasungu, Lilongwe, Dowa, Nkhotakota, Karonga, Chitipa, Chiradzulu, Balaka, Phalombe and Blantyre districts.