The fish farming group in Tandala was the first area we visited on our arrival in Equateur Province. Anticipating our (myself and Emmanuel Dole) arrival, people had come from as far as 40 km to hear from us. I spent part of one evening, hovered over a stainless steel bowl of fish they had brought as a gift, and some example predators (insects, frog), surrounded by fish farmers, discussing their challenges and learning from them. They have made great advancements and are enthusiastic, but still face several obstacles in increasing pond output--the most notable being theft, unfortunately.
The next day, we walked just down the hill to visit a set of ponds owned by 100 people. All of these individuals had received the seminar training, but only two received the $25 tool subsidy. With $50 in tools (a mixture of 8-10 shovels, machetes, or hoes) and whatever other tools they already had among them, they constructed or refurbished 133 ponds! I had to clarify several times to be sure something wasn't getting screwed up in translation--133 ponds! with $50 in tools! That's crazy.
|Fish farmers group, Tandala, Equateur Province, DR Congo.|
We had a meeting with this fish farming group that day to hear their challenges and bring encouragement. It was the first time it hit me that, sure, I am part of the reason that this has happened, but it has been the leadership of Emmanuel Dole and the motivation of the fish farmers themselves that has brought this success. I'm thrilled to be a part of a solution, but glad that I'm not the driving force. ...They are.