Planned improvement of fishing ports has started with the city fish market at Magogoni in Dar es Salaam where the government has allocated 2bn/- for major refurbishment for its infrastructure and widen the scope for fish trading.
The ministry has also contracted Inter Consult Ltd, an advisory firm, for preparation of plans and estimates for the renovation of the Ferry Fish Market, with a contractor the work already appointed.
Minister Luhaga Mpina, announcing the plan yesterday, said the government will ensure that fishermen are not despised.
He was inaugurating well toilets at the ferry market for Ilala Municipal Council, numbering 12 toilets – eight for men and four for women, with eight bathrooms–six for men and two for women. There are also eight wash sinks and two offices for levy collection, and one store room.
He said the new building has 40 trading spaces and its completion is important in improving the health of fishermen, fish processors, sellers, food vendors, buyers and other stakeholders,
The minister was adamant that for many years fishing activities were being despised and did not receive the necessary push, but the fifth-phase government has decided to reverse the trend, hence the grand plan to revamp the fishing sector countrywide.
He had given three months for district councils to improve fishing ports and markets along with facilities such as toilets, he told the gathering.
He said he was dismayed by district councils which look upon these facilities as sources of income for them, while not complying with the Fishing Law (Act No 22 of 2003) and regulations thereof of 2009.
He tasked the Ilala municipal director to ensure the project is properly managed as intended.
He also directed the Permanent Secretary to prepare and distribute guidelines for the administration of fishing ports and fish markets to all district councils by February 1.
Councils will charge a three percent levy instead of 5 percent as has usually been the case, a levy over which fishermen were complaining that it was too high.
Should the councils not do so, the ministry will remove their rights to collect the levy and thus the fishermen conduct their activities for free.
Mpina also directed the Ilala Municipal Council to repair broken down refrigerators at the Ferry Fish Market, such that by February 1 they should be in working condition.
Permanent Secretary Rashid Tamatamah said the toilet project has cost 163m/- and will reduce inconveniences for people using the market.
A fisherman using the Ferry Market, Feisal Ally thanked the government for responding to their complaints over the toilets and as now they have been accorded great respect for having modern toilets.
He also hailed the government for its decision to allow them one license for fishing in the entire sea area as well as for using fishing nets with eight millimeter mesh.