Asante Africa Inspires Tanzania Students on Fish Farm Project
At the core of our Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator Program is the “Pay it Forward” principle, which creates an impact beyond the participants, to strengthen and empower the communities around them.
After attending the leadership training, students of Magamba Secondary School, Lushoto, Tanzania, were inspired to start a fish farming project. “The training empowered us with skills on how best we could capitalize the available water resources around the school and build fish farming ponds. The funds were primarily through individual contributions by 45 of out the 60 member students of the Youth Leadership Club (A group started by LEI alumni).”
The fish pond’s construction was done by the YLC members guided by an Asante Africa patron and school teachers. “We dug water channels using hoes allowing water to flow into the ponds. To ensure stability, water was allowed to remain for about four months. During this period, club members planted grass around the dam/pond to stabilize the bank and prevent soil erosion. We successfully managed to construct two quality ponds for the project.”
After the completion of the construction, farming begun with 333 fish in the first pond. These were at an initial cost of TZS. 100,000. However, due to new adaptation and change of environment 100 of the fish didn’t survive. Undaunted by this loss, the club proceeded to commence operations in the second pond with 267 fish. With lessons learnt from the first trial, this time round the loss was mitigated to 7 from 100. “For capacity building purposes, we conducted a field research by visiting and having fruitful discussions with personnel in a prison fish project within Lushoto. We also planned a site visit with a specialist who recommended we rare Tilapia which does well in Lushoto.”
Just like any other project, this also has its fair share of challenges.
- Attacks by flying birds which perch and eat the fish. “We are doing the best we can to get some students to be on guard every time. This is done by working in shifts.”
- Lack of funds to build a mesh fence to protect the fish against attacks from other birds and animals.
- The inability of engaging an expert to professionally manage the fish project at school.
However, the club members are proactively taking steps to tackle these the best they can. The club members want to scale up the project and use its output for the betterment of the club members, their school and their community.
- To expand from the current two fish farming ponds to as many as possible.
- To increase sales and channel the profits in addressing some of the challenges faced by YLC members, which include but are not limited to buying school uniform, exercise books and pens.
- To improve nutrition for the students by incorporating fish consumption in school meals.
Additionally, the long term plans are to assist in the provision of education to the neighboring community where our school is located. “We hope to inspire other students to tap resources around them and create opportunities. There will always be challenges, but don’t let that demotivate you.” “Opportunities sparks innovation and builds on creativity!”