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Fish Farming in Malawi's Dustbowl


MALAWI - This seems an unlikely place to go fishing for your dinner: the dusty scrublands of Zomba West have been brittle dry since April, when the rainy season ended.

Modern Ghana reports that the place is spookily deserted on the day of the funeral of the local chief. In the marketplace, they found only one stall open, run by children. And all they are selling is fish.

"When we first started fish farming, people thought it was mad. They told us it will never work here," says Esther Fikira.

She led the reporter to a series of dirty green ponds dug into the baked clay soil.

The water is murky, almost stagnant, but Esther said there is a big haul of tasty "chambo" (a local delicacy) lurking just below the surface.

"If you had only seen the benefits this community has had from eating these fish," says the 50-year-old, wading in, "then you will know why I will never give my pond away."