THE Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is finalising preparations to rehabilitate the famous Ferry Fish Market at Magogoni in Dar es Salaam.
This was revealed by Livestock and Fisheries Minister Mashimba Ndaki yesterday, during a meeting with artisanal fishermen and small scale traders conducting their activities at the country's biggest fish market.
The minister, however, insisted that the rehabilitation project will not evict anyone from the facility, since there is a temporary relocation plan (TRP) in place to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Mr Ndaki said about 30-40 per cent of Tanzania's seafood products were not processed due to limited infrastructures, the reason why the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan was determined to improve the area in this 2021/2022 fiscal year.
At a full packed Ferry Fish Market, the minister added, the ministry has set aside over 2.6bn/- from its internal sources and other 1.17bn/- from external sources in 2021/22 budget for rehabilitations of fish landing centre infrastructures as well as markets, as a strategy to improve fish and other seafood value chain.
"Improved fisheries infrastructures will help the country in fighting against illegal trade and illegal fishing. This will increase government collections as well as improve availability of statistics relating to the fishing industry," the minister said.
Currently, said the minister, the sector employs about 4.5 million people hence his ministry has been tasked to ensure the sector's infrastructures are well improved to improve people's lives.
He added that it was the government's target, through the Livestock and Fisheries Ministry, to ensure the sector contributes beyond the current 1.7 per cent in the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
On his side, Deputy Minister Abdallah Ulega said the seafood products are decreasing hence the government will come up with an artificial technology that will boost the multiplication of marine organisms including fish.
He asked the stakeholders at the meeting to support the government during execution of the project geared to improve people's income and various collections.
Giving more details about the rehabilitation project, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Rashid Tamatamah said the 11.2bn/- Ferry Fish Market was essentially constructed to accommodate about 1,500 people per day but the facility currently serves over 10,000 traders and customers.
"This market is important for the Dar es Salaam region and the country at large in terms of social and economic factors," PS said.
According to the PS, the facility contributes to the government between 135m/- to 150m/- per month and provides direct employment opportunities to 117 people and another 2,780 have been employed indirectly.
Explaining how traders and fishermen will be relocated from the facility's Zone No. 1 and No. 2, the Ministry's Social Development Consultant Ms Debora Sungusia said when the seven-month project will kick off, the said groups will be relocated to a special designed area as she assured them that their interests will be protected.
However, the consultant added that a verification exercise will be conducted and it will involve all people trading at the market before relocating them to other areas.
They will also create a database, which will enable authority to monitor the movement during and after execution of the project.
The meeting was well attended by various public officials from the ministry, Dar es Salaam Region and its districts who promised wananchi that their rights will be protected at all the means and asked stakeholders to give the project's contractor a deserved cooperation to accomplish the task timely.
The construction of the market was funded by the government of Japan and implemented by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The project was completed in 2002 and launched by then President Benjamin Mkapa.