KASANGA Modern Fish Market in Kalambo District, Rukwa Region, has halted operations after its buildings submerged due to floods caused by rain from October last year.
The market located in Kasanga Ward along shores of Lake Tanganyika started its operations in March last year after turning idle for eight years since completion in 2011.
The 802.4 m/- facility's main donor being the European Union (EU), it was opened by then Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal in 2011.
Fishermen at the facility expressed their worries that such a situation if persisted would push them into old days when they were forced to sell dishes to neighbouring Zambia at low prices because they had no choice.
The facility's construction took off in 2009, but was turned into white elephant for eight years after cold room walls developed wide cracks a few days after completion and lack of electricity.
In March last year after it started operating, a few days later it was closed after its buildings submerged due to an increase in Lake Tanganyika water level caused by floods.
"This is the second time for the market to stop its operations due to heavy rain. We are worried that we have no option, but turn to owners of big fish processing factories in Mpulungu Township along the shores of Lake Tanganyika on the Zambian side. It is disappointing as for the past years those big factories on Zambian side were benefiting because we did not have a modern fish facility for preserving fish," said Mr Daniel Lungu, a fisherman.
Similar sentiments were echoed by dozens of disappointed fishermen, Mr Swedi Miti and Mr Cosmas Sikamba. Kasanga Ward Senior Fisheries Officer Gasper Lugelelo said even his office had been surrounded by water.
It is estimated that 70,000 people living in the villages close to the modern fish market engage in fishing activities and annually they produce more than 170,000 tonnes of fresh fish.