Monday, February 27, 2017


Newly renovated Hardap Inland Aquaculture Center (HIAC) next to the Hardap Dam 
The newly renovated Hardap Inland Aquaculture Center (HIAC) in the Hardap Region was officially inaugurated by Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) minister, Honourable Bernhard Esau on Friday, 8 July 2016.

The occasion was attended by several dignitaries including;
His Excellency Mr Wu Wei, Charge D’Affaires at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Namibia. Counsellor Liu Huabo, Counsellor at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Namibia. His Worship the Mayor of Mariental, Mr Willem Joseph Mensah. Dr Ahmadu Babagana, FAO Representative in Namibia. Mr Wang, Manager of SinoHydro Tiajin Co. Ltd. Mr Yin Dongie, Representative of Beijing Dayan Bihai Fisheries Institute of Plan and Design. Mr Tang Haitao, Representative of Beijing Xida Construction Company. The Acting Regional Officer of Mariental, Ms Teresia Basson. The CEO of Mariental, Mr Paul Ngwiwilepo. Local Authorities Councillors. Several Government Officials and members of  Media.
View of the climate controlled  Hatchery and Nursery Green-houses

The Director of Ceremonies, Dr. Moses Maurihungirire, Permanent Secretary (MFMR) facilitated the the smooth execution of proceedings. Honourable Governor of Hardap Region welcomed everybody to the inauguration.  Mr. Wang, from the Sinohydro Tiajin Co.Ltd who did the renovations gave detailed feedback of his company’s involvement in the renovation of HIAC. This was followed with remarks by His Excellency, Wu Wei the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Hon. Minister, Bernhard Esau of the MFMR. In his address Hon. Esau highlighted aquaculture development as one of the important priority areas under Vision 2030, identified because of its potential to contribute significantly to food self-sufficiency, poverty reduction, employment and revenue creation. By locating aquaculture facilities in rural areas, the Government aims to stimulate local economies and increase fish consumption nationally.

Hon. Esau further emphasised that the MFMR is committed to constructing aquaculture infrastructure in various Regions of our country of which the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Hardap Region is one such structure.
HIAC staff members in front of the main office block
The Ground-breaking Ceremony which marked the commencement of the work at HIAC took place on 24 November 2014. Hon. Esau then gave a brief background of the project as follow: 
“Seven years ago, at the beginning of 2009, the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of Namibia signed an Economic and Technical Agreement, facilitated through the National Planning Commission, in which the Government of China agreed to provide the Government of Namibia with a grant of RMB Yuan 50 Million, equivalent to N$ 65 Million.
RMB Yuan 15 Million of this grant was allocated to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources at the time.  At the current exchange rate, this translates to about N$35 million.
Following this allocation, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources agreed that these funds be utilized to upgrade the existing aquaculture facilities at Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Hardap Region.
In November 2010, through an Exchange of Letters, the Chinese Government agreed to send a team of experts to Namibia to carry out a feasibility study on the upgrading of facilities at the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.  The team of experts arrived in Namibia in April 2011 and carried out a feasibility study over a period of ten days.  Following this study, meetings were held between the Ministry and the experts and Agreed Minutes were signed, stipulating clearly what was expected from both sides.
In April 2012, the Vice Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of China, Hi Excellency Mr Hui Lianyu visited Namibia and Exchange Letters were signed again by the two sides in which they agreed, among other matters, that the Chinese Government will implement the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre Project.  At the beginning of September 2012, the Ministry received an invitation from the Chinese Government to send a team to China to look at the designs before the implementation of this project.
Following this visit which was led by my Permanent Secretary at the time, Ms Ulitala Hiveluah, the Chinese Government then contracted a company, Synohydro Tiajin Co. Ltd, to carry out the upgrading at the Centre.  A contract between this Company and the Ministry was eventually signed on 29th August 2014 and work commenced shortly thereafter.” 
Upgrading of facilities at the Centre included the following:
Construction of a new integrated processing workshop and a new cold storage building;
Renovation of open marketable-size fish ponds;
Construction of 2 marketable-size fish production ponds; and
Construction of big size fingerling production ponds.
One of the production ponds constructed
Because of the dedicated and strict work ethics of the Contractor, Sinohydro Tiajin Co. Ltd, the renovation took just over a year to complete.
Hon. Esau also mentioned that the upgraded design of the facility took into account the extreme winters of this Region by covering the ponds with special plastic which create a greenhouse effect, ensuring climate control that mitigates against extreme temperature fluctuations.  The climate control will make it possible for fish to spawn throughout the year, even during the extremes of cold winter or hot summer. In addition, brood-stock collection from the dam, breeding and management at the Centre already started in 2014 with the breeding and selection of new brood-stock as off-springs of the wild stock. Fingerling production on the other hand started from October 2015. Fingerlings will be stocked in the new fish production ponds and grown to marketable sizes.
The current grow-out period of the tilapia which is used for the fish production is 10 to 12 months, although there is ongoing research and trials to minimise the grow-out period and to save costs.
The new facilities (newly re-furbished hatchery) will also be able to produce a minimum of 31,000 fingerlings per month, which will be used to fill up the Centre ponds and also for sale to local fish farmers. The marketable-size fish produced will be processed at the Centre in our newly-built fish processing plant. It is envisaged that we will be able to sell fish in various forms (gutted with scales, gutted without scales and filleted) to the public. These newly constructed processing facilities were designed to comply with HACCP certification conditions, which is essential to meet EU export requirements.
New Procesing facility at HIAC
Hon. Esau further used the opportunity to request, through the Charge D’Affaires, for a favourable consideration of the Ministry’s Concept Note on the Development of Aquaculture Infrastructure in Namibia, which was forwarded to the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, through the National Planning Commission, under the Africa - China Relations Grant.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Headmen Muhero of Kamutjonga Village welcoming all participants to Kamutjonga for this important fisheries stakeholder meeting hosted by Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute
Mr. Johannes Hamukwaya, Chief Fisheries Biologist of MFMR Rundu regional Office and facilitator of the meeting highligting the objectives of the Fisheries Stakeholder Forum 
This unique Fisheries Stakeholder Forum took place from 12 to 13 May 2016 and was the first of its kind for the Kavango River in Namibia. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries (DoAIF) has long since realised the importance of disseminating fisheries research data and trends of the Kavango River fishery to stakeholders of the Kavango West and East Regions. Mr. Johannes Hamukwaya, Chief Fisheries Biologist of the MFMR Rundu Regional Office was appointed as chairperson of the organising committee. He was assisted by Fisheries Biologist from Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute and Katima Regional office. Fisheries Inspectors from the Directorate Operations stationed at Rundu also assisted.  Mr. Denis Tweddle and Geraldine Taylor of the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) assisted on behalf of the EU Project: "Community Conservation Fisheries in KAZA" with facilitation and logistics.  We are very grateful for this support. Thank you very much. It is sincerely appreciated.

The most notable stakeholders included the Traditional Authorities (Headmen and Village Traditional Council Chairpersons) directly impacted by this fishery. Other stakeholders invited included Kavango (East and West) Regional Council, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia Police, Conservancies and Lodges on the Kavango River. 

Agenda available at:

The Stakeholder Forum was opened by Mr. R. Burger the Deputy Director of Inland Fisheries at the MFMR. Headmen Muhero of the Kamutjonga Village welcomed all participants to Kamutjonga. Proceedings of the forum were facilitated by different staff members of the MFMR in Kavango East and West Regions as well as Katima Mulilo regional office. Mr. Burger gave a short overview of the activities of the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries, where after Mr. D. Tweddle of the NNF highlighted the importance of fishery resource management in his presentation. The Traditional Authority presented the importance of traditional fishery on behalf of Hompa Kaundu. It was evident from this presentation and discussions that the Traditional Authority in Kavango was not happy with illegal fishing methods most notably drag netting that led to a drastical reduction of fish populations in the Kavango River (Namibia). Mr. Mark Paxston on behalf of the tourism industry (lodges) echoed the concerns of the Traditional Authority with regard to illegal fishing methods that led to the destruction of the Kavango fishery. Mr. Paxton was also concerned about the lack of proper law enforcement to address the problem. 
Mr. Denis Tweddle of the NNF with his presentation "the need for co-management of the Okavango River"
Mr. Tweddle on actions needed to stop the collapse of the Okavango River (click on image for better view)

During the afternoon session Mr. Godfrey Sitengu gave a very insightful presentation on the findings of inland fisheries research on the Kavango River from the early 1990's to 2015. It was evident from the presentation that the resource is under severe pressure. Mr. R. Upingasana, Fisheries Inspector from Rundu office followed with a presentation on the Inland Fisheries Act, regulations and the roles of Fisheries Inspectors. These presentations were followed by very active discussions.
Geraldine Taylor explaing her groups input during the plenary discussion
Mr. Francois Jacobs giving feedback on his groups work during the plenary session

Day 2 of the forum concentrated on group work where several issues pertaining to inland fisheries were discussed and presented at plenary sessions. Inputs from these discussions are being disseminated by the MFMR and NNF in order to come up with possible solutions in terms of bilateral/multilateral co-management issues, creation of possible protected areas with local community management and legislative inputs to better manage the resource. The MFMR gazetted the banning of monofilament nets in Gazete No 6197 of 15 December 2016, Gazette Notice No 296 (prohibition on the issuing of licences for monofilament nets to be used as regulated fishing gear: Inland Fisheries ResourceAct, 2003) based on research findings and inputs from this stakeholder meeting. The gazetted protected areas with community management at Sikunga and Impalila Conservancies in the Zambezi Region was a big inspiration and an example that Traditional Authorities in the Kavango East and West Regions want to emulate. Project support to this extend is eagerly encouraged.  We are looking forward to work closely with stakeholders and NGO's to succeed in the overall participatory sustainable management of our inheritance the Mighty Kavango/Okavango River.

A word of appreciation to the organising committee (Mr. Gosbert Hamutenya, Mr. Richard Upingasana, Mr. Denis Tweddle [NNF], Mr. Erastus Mupiri, Ms. Emily Nambinga, Mr. Francois Jacobs, Mr. Godfrey Sitengu) under the leadership of Mr. Johannes Hamukwaya who did a great job and hosted a very successful event.

The Kavango Stakeholder Forum will become an annual event at Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute. The MFMR is encouraging support for 2017 Kavango Stakeholder Forum.