SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
CHILANGA Member of Parliament (MP) Maria Langa has sponsored over 100 people in her constituency to be trained in fish farming.
And the 110 constituents who successfully graduated with certificates after going through a three-day intensive training in fish farming at Breathing Fish Farm Training Centre (BFFTC) in Chinyanja Ward, Chilanga district have commended Ms Langa for the support.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Chilanga yesterday Ms Langa, who was the guest of honour, said the programme was aimed at promoting agriculture and self-reliance among women and the youth in her constituency.
Ms Langa said the gesture formed part of her social responsibility to her constituents and in line with the government’s promise of creating jobs.
She said the initiative was also aimed at empowering the youth economically to curb social vices in her constituency.
Ms Langa said there was a need for mindset shift among Zambians.
They should move away from ‘Boma iyanganepo’ (government should do something for us) mentality to looking for what they could do at individual level even in a small way.
Ms Langa, who advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the rare opportunity, said Zambia desperately needed a change in the way things were done.
She urged the beneficiaries to use the acquired knowledge to create wealth.
The objective of the programme was to groom the beneficiaries to become job-creators, rather than job-seekers.
“Knowledge is power. So let us use the knowledge we have acquired to create wealth. Poverty has been put upon ourselves because of lack of knowledge. But now that you have been imparted with knowledge, use it to create and establish your own enterprises. Let us not have a mentality of ‘Boma iyanganepo’. As part of Government, I have done my part to sponsor your training,” Ms Langa said.
She advised the beneficiaries to apply for loans at the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and pledged to submit their applications to the funder on their behalf.
And speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, 64-year-old Paul Moonga described the training sponsored by Ms Langa as the best gift for the trainees in the face of present economic realities.
Mr Moonga, who is physically challenged, was hopeful that the trainees would use the knowledge to help other people in the constituency to develop their skills to create and establish their own enterprises.
Another beneficiary, Rosemary Nsopela, 62, thanked Ms Langa for sponsoring them.
Ms Nsopela said the training would contribute to job creation as well as reduce poverty in their homes.
Meanwhile, BFFTC proprietor and trainer Collins Kachaka says fish farming is a lucrative business which could contribute to the creation of employment as well as reduction of poverty in Zambia.
Dr Kachaka said one fish pond was able to employ the entire family and that poverty would be a thing of the past if families ventured into fish farming.
He said creation of jobs was not about placing people in the formal sector, but helping people to develop their skills and talents to create and establish their own enterprises.