Empowering Coastal Communities: Transformative Solutions for Sustainable Fishing Practices.

May 23, 2024

Anjela Jonas Mzirai, a Beneficiary of the Tackling illegal Maritime Project supported by the Government and Japan and UNDP

UNDP Tanzania

In the remote village of Tandika, nestled within the Dunda ward in Bagamoyo Region, Anjela Jonas Mzirai is leading a quite transformative small fish business. With a determined spirit and community support, she has embraced opportunities provided by UNDP, the Government of Tanzania and Japan to venture into the business of drying fishes, particularly sardines.

Anjela's journey began with the provision of 10 fish drying racks from UNDP Tanzania with support from the Government of Japan through Tackling Illegal Maritime Initiative. These racks have revolutionized sardine preservation and empowered the community economically. Anjela's initiative to share these benefits with fellow villagers has further boosted sustainable practices, fostering collective ownership and collaboration within the community.

"We used to struggle during the rainy season," Anjela explains. "Drying fish on the ground took forever and risked contamination. Now, with these fish drying racks, we can efficiently dry our fish, ensure quality and increase income. The availability of clean and efficiently dried fish has attracted people from Dodoma, and Dar Es Salaam regions and beyond. 
The impact of this initiative echoes beyond Anjela's household. The increased income from her business has enabled her group of seven women to invest in essential fishing tools, support their families, and pay for their children's education. “With our newfound financial stability, we are now eyeing further expansion into seaweed cultivation”. says Angela.

Anjela and her group drying sardines on the drying fish racks. In supporting the community through the Tackling Illegal Maritime Project, UNDP and the Government of Japan provided 30 fish racks in Bagamoyo, Pangani and Mafia regions.

UNDP Tanzania

Ramadhan Khalfan, a local entrepreneur specializing in frying fish, also attests to the convenience brought about by the drying racks. "Having the racks close to my shop has streamlined my business operations," he shares. "I can now quickly dry and fry the fish, ensuring freshness and cleanliness for my customers."

Despite challenges like the lack of water access for cleaning sardines, Anjela stresses the need for collective action to ensure sustainability. She invites women across the region to join their entrepreneurial journey, proving that even the most excluded communities can flourish with determination and unity.

Anjela's story stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing the transformative impact of grassroots initiatives and the potential for sustainable development when communities are empowered.   Her journey not only enhances livelihoods but also lays the foundation for a more sustainable and prosperous future.