WALVIS BAY - The fishing industry should come up with better social responsibility projects instead of dishing out a few tins of fish and food parcels, as this does not yield the desired impact of shared natural resources as envisioned.
This is according to fisheries minister Derek Klazen, who was responding to questions raised by journalists during a press conference held shortly after the conclusion of the three-day retreat on selected policies and strategic matters that took place in Swakopmund last week.
Government has been advocating for shared resources as not all Namibians applying for rights can be granted quotas. As a result, successful applicants are obliged to also look at sharing such resources through social responsibility projects.
Klazen indicated that although the social responsibility arm means well, donating fish and food parcels is not sufficient as it does not uplift the community the way government wants.
“To give people a few tins of fish is not the way to go. Yes, they do need food to eat, but we need to look at ways to empower them better than food parcels. We need to make contributions that positively impact our communities,” he stressed.
The politician pointed out that one of the fishing companies just drilled a borehole in the Ohangwena region for the community. That’s an initiative that is more impactful than donating N$100 000 worth of fish or food parcels.
“Those are the types of contributions we want for our people. We should ask ourselves whether giving N$100 000 worth of fish or to construct a house of N$30 000 through the Shack Dwellers’ Federation of Namibia will make a better impact,” Klazen stated.
He added that they will soon consult with the industry to further promote sustainable management and ensure a more profitable fishing industry.