10 Jun 2013 09:30
HENTIES BAY, 10 JUN (NAMPA) - The Hanganeni Artisanal Fishing Association (HAFA) celebrated its 10th anniversary here on Friday.
The prime purpose of HAFA is to uplift the living standards of disadvantaged people within this town in the Erongo Region, while also striving to further create employment opportunities and enhance food security.
The project was initiated through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), which granted exploratory rights to HAFA to fish with fishing rods.
In addition, the Spanish Cooperation in Namibia, together with the MFMR, donated a ski-boat to the value of N.dollars 800 000 for improved fishing operations.
HAFA has created employment for over 70 fishermen and women, with a monthly average income of N.dollars 2 400 over the past 10 years.
Fisheries? Minister Bernhard Esau said in a speech read on his behalf by Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua that since 2010, the MFMR started to grant HAFA an annual hake quota, which is currently totalling 600 metric tonnes.
?Each day, the fishermen meet at the centre, and are then transported to different points to catch fish. This fish is then taken to the centre where it is cleaned, processed and packed into plastic bags by women, and then the fish is ready for reselling in the fish shop to the public and other business enterprises,? he explained.
Esau said HAFA has the potential to create further direct employment for the people of Henties Bay, and to indirectly also feed additional families.
The company is currently marketing its products locally in Henties Bay, regionally and in other towns in Namibia.
?I, therefore, call upon HAFA to generate more funds with the aim to realise their dreams so as to ensure that Henties Bay, like any other fishing town, continues to create more employment opportunities, as well as to diversify in tourism and hospitality for the benefit of the Henties Bay community,? he appealed.
Also speaking at the same event, HAFA chairperson Leonard Ndazapo extended a request to the MFMR to continue providing fishing quotas to the fishing association in order for them to achieve their objectives.
Ndazapo also appealed to the local business community to support the association in any form.