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#1 07-11-2018 06:07:54

Registered: 10-07-2018
Posts: 264

Despite the daunting nature of the task, the pair's success

by Robert Manyara

KISUMU Air VaporMax Mens UK , Kenya, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Sangorota beach along the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya's biggest fresh water body, is no longer bustling with activity as has been the norm for many years.

The fishermen who used to flock the beach with boats and other fishing gear in search of the delicacy have deserted the trade as fish stock dwindles in the lake, which Kenya shares with neighboring countries Tanzania and Uganda.

"There is no value in going to fish in the lake anymore. Until recently, I would go there early in the morning and after four or five hours, I go back home with only 5kg of fish," Maurice Ouma, a fisherman told Xinhua on Sunday.

As fish stock dwindles in Lake Victoria due to over fishing, climate change and pollution, Ouma and his fellows have deserted the lake and switched to an alternative source of fish and livelihood -- the fishpond.

"Keeping fish in ponds is better because you can get guaranteed harvest," said Jacob Onyango, a fisherman who has embraced the business. "We used to hire boats and other fishing gear, and end up getting little fish."

Onyango started keeping fish in ponds over a year ago and the returns are good. "I invested about 150 dollars in the business by digging three ponds and buying fingerlings from other farmers in the region at 0.05 dollars each. Each of my ponds carries a maximum of 500 fingerlings," said Onyango, who rears catfish and tilapia.

At first, Onyango found fish farming in ponds a difficult business as he was used to getting fish daily and, thus, money.

The catfish and tilapia mature in eight months. On a monthly basis, Omollo spends 22 dollars on fish feeds. He feeds the fish mainly with fish mash.

"I get between 549 dollars and 637 dollars in about two months by selling fish to traders. I have increased my ponds to seven now and each holds fish at different stages of maturity, ensuring that I harvest almost every month."

Onyango and Ouma admitted that pond fish farming is far much better than going to the lake where anglers scramble for immature fish and walk home empty handed.

Jonam Etyang, Kisumu County director of fisheries, says they are encouraging rearing fish in ponds to enable fishermen in the region have a source of livelihood. Etyang blamed the use of sub- standard gear and chemicals in Lake Victoria as the major cause of the dwindling stocks.

The Ministry of Fisheries has put in place are banning illegal fishing gears inside Lake Victoria.

Etyang said fishery officers should work with the Beach Management Units to ensure that those fishermen using substandard gears to harvest immature fish are arrested and their gears confiscated and burnt.

"But the solution lies in people embracing ponds. It is evident that we cannot get enough fish from the lake," he said.

SHIJIAZHUANG, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Spending 13 years to turn a wasteland into an oasis is an inconceivable task for ordinary people, let alone for an elderly blind man and his friend who has no arms.

However, the 54-year-old sightless Jia Haixia and 53-year-old armless Jia Wenqi from north China's Hebei Province have made it.

The duo changed a land covered in nothing but rocks and weeds into a forest in Yeli Village of Jingxing County by planting more than 10,000 trees.

Jia Haixia was born with congenital cataract which left his left eye blind. The sight in the other eye was lost after an accident at work in 2000. His friend and neighbor, Jia Wenqi, lost both arms after being electrocuted at the age of three.

"It seemed impossible for us to find jobs, so we decided to brace up and face the misfortunes of life," Jia Wenqi said.

In 2002, they noticed a vacant lot near the riverbank and got approval of villagers committee to plant trees there for the purpose of "earning some money" and supporting their families.

Unfortunately, the ambitious plan lacked money and saplings were expensive. Wracking their brains, the pair decided instead to prune branches from grown trees across the lot's river and plant them to create new life.

It was a physically demanding job. Jia Haixia climbed large trees to prune branches under the guidance of his armless companion, who had to carry his sightless friend, tools and branches on his back across the river several times every day.

"I often fell into the river at the very beginning. Now I can walk stably on the slippery and cold river bottom," Jia Wenqi said.

Every day, Jia Haixia used drills to dig holes, while Jia Wenqi put the branch into the hole and watered them with his toes. Their lunch usually consisted of cold steamed buns and water.

However, arduous work does not necessarily mean immediate returns. In the first year, they planted 800 tree branches, but only two survived.

"Villagers laughed at us. They said this land was impossible to conserve water and soil. Planting trees? How stupid!" Jia Haixia recalled.

But they decided to start over and came up with another idea -- pumping water from the river to their land. When the water flowed into the land, their baby trees started to bud.

"I was unable to see the color of the buds, and my friend couldn't touch them. So he described the details of each tree to me, and I told him how I felt when I touched them," said Jia Haixia.

Over time, the duo's attitudes also changed.

They became reluctant to cut trees down and sell them. The trees were like their children and gave them a glimpse of hope because they know they can do something for others.

Despite the daunting nature of the task, the pair's success has spurred them to continue their work. They recently contracted another plot of land in the nearby mountains and use their experience to transform the barren landscape.

Their second project may prove to be a lesser challenge, however, as Jia Haixia was told by doctors he m"

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