By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
ActionAid Zambia has handed over a user guide manual that facilitates fishers and communities to participate in the management and sustainable use of fisheries resources in Zambia to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
The user guide manual is aimed at re-orienting fisheries extension officers in the formation of community structures as well as in the effective collaboration with stakeholders in the management of and governance of fisheries resources.
ActionAid Zambia Country Director Nalucha Nganga Ziba highlighted that this is part of the “Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries” project that supports small scale fishers, especially women and youth, to advocate for national and regional policies and legal frameworks that favor management of fisheries resources, including security of tenure.
Ms Ziba cited that studies show that weak fisheries management, legal and institutional framework has resulted in the reduced accountability and transparent engagement of stakeholders in the fisheries resources.
She said that the weak fisheries management, legal and institutional framework coupled with inadequate capacity to implement regulations in the fisheries sector has resulted in reduced fish stocks in Zambia water bodies.
“It’s for this reason that we trust that this governance guide will go a long way in supplementing government efforts in sustainable management of fisheries in Zambia,” she said
And Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Makozo Chikote said that the guide will assist extension officers and other facilitators to bridge the existing gaps of applying incoherent approaches in the promotion of community participation in the management and governance of fisheries.
“The new dawn administration is keen on ensuring prudent and sustainable utilization of natural resources hence the need for fisheries to be properly managed and preserved as it is a source of livelihood for over 1 million people, and Government is ready to change the image, create change and to walk the talk,” he said