Cheap fish? Not in Mwanza anymore

Sato
Planning to travel to Mwanza city to enjoy readily available and affordable fishes? Rethink your mission! 
 
True, high nutritious fishes were used to be great incentive to many people travelling to the Lake Zone, the rocky city of Mwanza in particular.

But, that incentive has long gone, with fishes, particularly Tilapia, becoming luxurious goods here. 

“I can’t remember for sure the last time I tasted Tilapia…the fish has become too expensive for the low income earners to afford,” says Jesca Mabura, of Mabatini suburb.

She recalls those good days when, with only 500/-, she could buy sufficient fishes for a day’s two meals in her family of six people.

“But, today I need not less than 6,000/- to get same amount of fishes, especially Tilapia,” she laments. Majority residents here perceive fishes as the preserve of the elite few, with spare income to spend on luxurious goods.

“I think this (fish scarcity) is one of the adverse effects of development,” says Matiko Mwita, a fish dealer, charging that good road network countrywide has facilitated easy transport of fishes to all corners of the country.

“Fresh fishes from here are sold in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya, Dodoma and other parts of the country because of reliable air and road transport,” says Mr Mwita, adding that the industries that process fishes for export also exacerbate the problem.

Rising fish prices have created good grounds for booming meat and sardine businesses, which serve majority residents of the lakeside city.

“A kilogramme of meat goes for 4,500/-, far cheaper than fish,” says Jasmin Masanja, a house girl met at Mabatini market. 

Fish prices in Bunda town, where the inhabitants say fishes used to be given almost for free, have also escalated, at least by the residents’ perception.
Source: The Daily News,http://www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Masato Masato
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