Katima Mulilo — Since not everyone is fortunate to be formally employed given the staggering unemployment rate in the country, 29-year-old Judith Tawila decided to look to the abundant offerings of the Zambezi River to earn a livelihood by selling fish at the Katima Mulilo Open Market and Craft Centre.
Unfortunately the absence of cold storage facilities at the popular and bustling marketplace leaves traders like Tawila and many others no choice but to adapt to the circumstances by selling dried fish because it has a longer 'shelf life' compared to fresh fish.
"I decided to sell fish because I could not find a job," she said. Tawila said she buys the fish from fishermen in the area for N$2 and re-sells it for N$5 apiece. "People buy the fish on a daily basis. Even though the money I make is not enough, it is enough to feed myself and my little sister who lives with me."
Tawila pays a monthly rental fee of N$100 to the Katima Mulilo Town Council for a spot at the open market. "The place is safe and open, therefore most of us leave our products here when we go home at night, because they lock the premises and there is a security guard," said Tawila.
There is a great variety of fish and products at the open market due to the close proximity of the Zambezi River. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources fisheries control inspector Bargrey Kapelwa said the open market helps the traders to make a decent living.
"Although they do not make huge amounts of money, they can make a decent living from what they earn here," Kapelwa told New Era.