SOME residents of Madeko area and Masasi township in Mtwara Region say their lives have significantly improved thanks to a Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) supported fish breeding project.
The TASAF beneficiaries had pooled resources together and established a fish breeding project which rescued them from the jaws of poverty.
Speaking to a group of journalists who visited the area yesterday, some of the beneficiaries could not hide their joy of living better lives.
They told the scribes that after receiving their cash grants from TASAF, they thought of a better way to utilise the funds and fish breeding was the best option for them.
One of the beneficiaries, Consolatha Steven (62), revealed that having received their grants, they convened a meeting as a group of 159 members and put plans on the table.
It was during the same meeting that they decided to contribute small amounts of money and managed to raise 3.0m/-. According to her, the said amount helped them to dig a huge fishpond and purchased 1200 seed fish.
“The project is progressing well to the extent that we have major our plans for the next four months. “We expect to raise over 8m/- after selling fish and the money will boost our savings groups and improve our income,” he said.
Beatus Mapeta, who is also a TASAF beneficiary revealed that the funds are helpful, not only to her but everyone who gets them as it provides basic income security, guaranteeing healthcare and education amongst children and dependents.
She however hailed the TASAF programme, saying the lives of thousands of villagers had been changed for the better and life has never been the same.
The Cash Management Committee Officer (CMC), Mr Hamidu Chindamba said that the beneficiaries were trained on better ways of fish keeping which included knowledge on fish production, preservation, processing, marketing and management.
“I believe this project is going to change lives of beneficiaries whom after succeeding they may be able to graduate from TASAF programme giving chance for other people to benefit,” he said.