18 Oct 2013 08:00am
By Olavi Haikera
MUYAKO, 18 OCT (NAMPA) Freshwater fish harvested from Lake Liambezi in the eastern Zambezi Region are being exported in high volumes to neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
The demand for fish in countries like Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to rise, and this has enabled local fishermen to earn income and sustain their families.
Some fishermen make as much as N.dollars 30 000 profits per month.
The fish from this lake - situated some 60km east of Katima Mulilo - are first salted and then exported as dried fish in bags because they cannot be exported fresh as it will get spoiled along the way due to the hot conditions.
The fish are transported on a weekly basis with trucks via the Wenela border post between the Zambezi Region and Zambia, and then to the Kasumbalesa border post between Zambia and the DRC.
The trucks are stationed on the Zambian side, and transport the fish packed in 50kg bags.
Lake Liambezi, situated at the Muyako village, has been turned into a semi-commercial trade hub as more and more villagers are turning to fishing.
Temporary hut structures continue to mushroom along the banks of this lake as fishermen who sleep there are able to harvest fish in the evenings and early mornings.
Some fishermen have relocated there with their spouses, with some staying as long as for two months at a time in order to harvest fish for export.
Brighten and Violet Likulela have been camping there for over a month now in order to harvest fish to sustain themselves and their families, whom they left at their homestead.
Brighten told Nampa on Thursday that they have been exporting fish to neighbouring countries for over a year now, and that business is booming.
The fishermen and women pay permit costs of N.dollars 1 500 at the Zambian Customs Office to have their fish transported and sold at Kasumbalesa, while a fishing net licence obtained from the Namibian Fisheries and Marine Resources Ministry costs between N.dollars 50 and N.dollars 200 per year, depending on the size of the net.
The fishermen also pay an annual fee of Ndollars 300 to the local Traditional Authority, a further N.dollars 50 Customs duty fee at the border as well as N.dollars 50 for a permit from the Fisheries and Marine Resources Ministry.