TANZANIA – In an effort to enhance the livelihoods of Tanzanian fishermen and bolster maritime safety, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with the government of Japan to provide state-of-the-art dry fish racks to fishermen in the Coast and Tanga Regions.

Beneficiaries of this collaboration include fishermen from the Bagamoyo and Mafia districts in the Coast Region and the Pangani district in the Tanga Region.

The newly equipped dry fish racks, capable of drying up to 1,000 kilograms of fish at a time, will replace the traditional method of drying fish on the sand or floor in Bagamoyo and Kipumbwi.

Mr. Akida Baholela, the Pangani District Council Chairman, highlighted the impact of this support during the handover ceremony in the Coast Region.

“The installation of 20 dry fish racks will help fishermen meet market requirements, improve the quality and standards of dried sardines, and enable them to penetrate the international market,” he stated.

“Additionally, a high-speed patrol boat will be provided to enhance the safety of the Indian Ocean coast.”

The initiative, facilitated through the Prime Minister’s Office, aims to establish a mechanism overseeing maritime safety and security activities.

It specifically targets issues such as Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, maritime pollution, smuggling, and trafficking in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, approximately 600 artisan fishermen in Mafia, Bagamoyo, and Pangani have received intensive capacity-building training on business management and entrepreneurship skills.

The support extends to three cooperative societies, assisting in the preparation of feasibility study reports and financial models for the Sardine Drying facilities.

Mr. Emmanuel Nnko, the UNDP Head of Inclusive Growth Pillar, emphasized the transformative impact of the partnership.

“With this support, we expect fishermen to use fish drying racks, producing higher-quality fish. Fishermen can now connect with regional markets like Kenya, Uganda, and Congo,” he noted.

“The initiative not only addresses economic empowerment but also promotes sustainable practices across the targeted districts.”

Mr. Prudence Constantine, Director of Emergency Operation and Communications Centre at the Prime Minister’s Office, also urged beneficiaries to maximize the use of the facilities to empower women and youth businesses in Bagamoyo, Pangani, and Mafia.

In addition, Ms. Chie Miyashita, the Coordinator for Economic Cooperation at the Japanese Embassy in Tanzania, expressed Japan’s pride in supporting Tanzania’s initiatives for economic empowerment, especially for women and youth, and enhancing the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)