Speaking to journalists in Masasi, the beneficiaries said the decision to invest in the fish project was informed by the knowledge they have acquired on fish rearing adding that they will ensure that they benefit from it as well as the community.
62-year-old Consolatha Stephen who is a member of the group said they began by contributing small amounts which enabled them put up a modern dam and purchase at least 1200 small fish to start with.
“We thank God, the project is going on well and in the next four months we expect that the project will produce over 8m/- after selling fish, the funds will help us through our saving groups to improve our income,” she said.
Madeko Cash Management Committee officer (CMC) Hamidu Chindamba said the beneficiaries were trained on fish rearing which included knowledge on fish production, preservation, processing, marketing and management.
“I believe this project is going to change lives of beneficiaries whom after succeeding they may be able to graduate from TASAF programme giving chance to other people to benefit,” He said.
According to him, the fish market is available both in and out of the district adding that they will continue encouraging beneficiaries to embark on fishing for their economic development.
Another beneficiary, Beatus Mapeta said the funds will go a long way in the provision of basic income security, guaranteeing healthcare and education amongst his children and dependants.
Mapeta commended TASAF programme, saying it had changed the lives of thousands of villagers including him who were previously living in absolute poverty.
Masasi Town council TASAF coordinator Jorum Msangi said that despite giving out cash as start-up capital, the programme had also invested in the provision of entrepreneurial and business skills to enable its beneficiaries’ engage fully in production activities, establish small scale industries and businesses within their areas.
He said that investing in providing business and entrepreneurship skills will enable the beneficiaries with lifetime ability to run their lives.
He noted that through the Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) in TASAF III, beneficiaries participate in public works such as putting up infrastructures in the area of education, health and water to improve social services and earn extra- income through the salaries they receive after work.
Beneficiaries according to Msangi are also able to establish community savings and investments groups. It aims at enabling TASAF III beneficiaries to save money to invest in livelihood enhancing activities, by supporting these investments with business development skills and technical training.