Production of fish in Eastern Province affected drying up of water sources.

Drying up of streams, rivers and dams in Eastern Province has seriously affected fish farming in the region.
Provincial Fisheries Officer, Edgar Kabeke revealed this during Budget Tracking Programme on Breeze FM this morning.
Mr. Kabeke says that in normal situations, the department has encouraged two fish production cycles from January to June and June to December but this has not been possible of late, because water has been running out by June.
He however, says that the department has introduced a hatchery system that allows farmers to harvest fast growing fish within three months instead of six months.
Meanwhile the Fisheries Department has this year only received about 33 per cent of the budgetary allocation in the 2015 National Budget.
Provincial Fisheries Officer, Edgar Kabeke says that from an allocation of 1.4 million Kwacha, only 467,000 Kwacha has been released.
Mr. Kabeke however, indicated that it was too early to conclude that the department will not receive all its allocation of 1.4 million Kwacha.
He says that this is despite the department facing a similar situation last year where only 340,900 Kwacha was released from a budgetary allocation of 1.8 million Kwacha.
And Mr. Kabeke says that 635,000 Kwacha is being used to rehabilitate Davies Fish Farm in Chipata and that works are progressing well.
About 500 farmers are into fish farming in Chipata district.
Chipata District Fisheries Officer, Recent Mulenga Banda revealed this during Budget Tracking Programme on Breeze FM this morning.
Mrs. Banda however, says that the farmers have not been spared from the effects of climate change, which has seen some fish ponds being abandoned due to lack of water.
And Mrs. Banda was taken to task by callers on the radio programme when she failed to break down the figures for 29,000 Kwacha released to Chipata district under the 2015 budgetary allocation.
Mrs. Banda’s explanation that about three quarters of the 29,000 Kwacha was used on training fish farmers did not satisfy callers, who demanded that she breaks down the amount.
The callers stated that provincial heads of government departments need to take a firm stance when dealing with district officers, who seemed incompetent in such matters.

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