Rains ruin Kapenta trade on Lake Kariba

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

THE heavy rains being experienced in most parts of Zambia have immensely affected Kapenta fishing on Lake Kariba in Siavonga resulting in a rise in the price for the fish.

A check at Siavonga main harbour market by Daily Nation found traders selling a 20kg bag of Kapenta at between K1,400 and K1,500 from the previous price of between K800 and K900

Lake Kariba is Zambia’s major producer and supplier of Kapenta fish, therefore, the cut in the supply as a result of bad weather conditions was likely to continue to push the prices of the fish in Lusaka and other major towns where the tiny fish was popular.

A further check in Kariba Town on the Zimbabwean side, found a similar situation with most fishing companies putting their workforce on leave until the weather stabilized.

Siavonga and Kariba towns are experiencing heavy rainfalls forcing Kapenta fishermen to halt their operations.

Even the notorious illegal fishing gangs known as “PILIBUKA’ have also being affected and have resorted to selling the catches of fresh Kapenta door to door in surrounding compounds.

Some fishermen spoken to said they had withdrawn from the lake until the rains subsided to avoid losses as they had no equipment to the dry their Kapenta and only depended on sun. “The catches are OK but the problem is that it’s always raining and therefore it’s not possible to dry the fish so we end up with fresh Kapenta which has no market,” said one of the fishermen.

He advised that in future Government should consider setting up modern equipment for drying fish as the weather was now unpredictable due to climate change result in now global warming.

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