Tendai Gukutikwa Post Correspondent
NYAMAURU Government High School’s aquaculture project is now bearing fruit, with the income being chanelled to meet some of the school’s expenses.
Apart from the successful tilapia and bream fish farming project, the school also boasts poultry and banana projects.
The headmaster, Mr Vitalis Chirenje, said the school’s year-old aquaculture project has a ready market from the surrounding community.
“Parents of learners enrolled at the school came up with the idea of fish farming. As a school, we embraced it because as much as it generates income for us, it also helps feed the community. While the school benefits financially, the community is also guaranteed of a balanced diet at a very low price, thereby ensuring food security,” he said.
The school’s fishlings are purchased from Lake Harvest in Kariba.
Mr Chirenje said their overall objectives are to educate and empower their learners with vocational skills, thereby preparing them for the professional world.
He added that this empowerment also reduces dependency on humanitarian assistance.
“The projects seek to benefit over 1 000 learners through our in-house vocational skills training, thereby ensuring that after finishing school, they have a chance to use the skills gained here.
“We take pride in the fact that our learners will always have something to do when they leave school,” he said.
He said the school aims to introduce piggery and citrus trees farming in the near future.
“When we sell our fish and bananas to the community. We use the money to meet some of the school’s expenses. Just last week, we harvested our fish and raised more than $10 000. That was just one day’s sales and you can imagine how much this school will get after harvesting all the fish.
“We are hoping that next year we will expand our projects and get into piggery as well as citrus tree farming. We will do paw-paw trees as well,” said Mr Chirenje.
However, he said the fish project faces challenges in the winter season as the fish had problems adapting to the cold weather.
“With the new knowledge on how to help fish adapt in winter, we can now expand our projects. We expect better yields during our next harvest season,” said Mr Chirenje.
He urged other schools to engage in aquaculture and other income-generating projects as the dividends will help in meeting some of the schools’ financial requirements.
One of the community members, Mr Albert Chiriseri, said using the projects to train learners is a good initiative since it guarantees a better future for the children.
“Jobs are scarce these days. However, a learner from this school is guaranteed of life supporting skills after finishing school. They can start their own projects and enjoy the benefits as they come,” he said.