In the past there had already been a fishpond on the nursery grounds. But after 15 years of nonuse, only a silted up and overgrown area remained.Restoring the fishpond was one of the ideas to generate funds for the tree nursery.
In rural areas of Tanzania, in particular, one often finds unbalanced malnutrition based on maize. The consumption of fish can provide a more balanced diet for the population due to its high content of proteins, fat, minerals and vitamins. However, sea fish is hard to get in the Kilimanjaro area, as the coast of the Indian Ocean is at least 5 hours drive away. Cool chains can hardly be maintained. The main source of fish in the region is the reservoir "Nyumba ya Mungu" ("the house of God"), opened in 1969, with its 1.12 km3 water reservoir. But also more and more smaller farmers started building their own fishponds to earn additional money by selling fresh fish. Fish is becoming more and more important in the local diet and is now extremely popular.
In order to restore "our" fishpond, the first step was to rebuild the natural fence.On an area of 20x25 meters, the walls and the ground were flattened. Waterproof concrete and a stonewall give the new pond its shape. In March 2020, the first 5000 young fish were put into the pond. Our partners decided to use African catfish, which are quite easy to care for, in breeding. They are fed with fish food 3 times a day. After about 6 months, the catfish are ready for sale on the market, reaching around 1 kg of weight.
From time to time, a part of the pond water is drained and filled up with fresh water. Since the old pond water is rich in nitrate, we want to use it as liquid fertilizer for the trees. For this purpose, our association financed a 35 m3 collecting tank for the water, as well as a 3000 l tank including the platform. There, the water containing the nitrate is mixed with the water from the river and the rainwater and can reach the trees by means of natural water pressure through drip irrigation.