January 5, 2012—Twenty-one years of war have limited opportunities for education, livelihoods and businesses in South Sudan. Life has been hard. We were poor without a future. After the referendum, there was a new life, we started to rebuild houses and cultivate farms. A program for fish farming was started in Yei County from the neighboring country of Uganda, but it failed due to lack of skill and experience in the community.
In March 2011, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) introduced a new fish farm program to our village by bringing in a consultant to help us. We were a bit worried at the beginning that it would fail, but UMCOR and the consultant were confident. They explained to us the technical aspects of fish farming with minimal water resources. We were happy with the training delivered by UMCOR and the consultant. We were also happy that they provided us with the tools, equipment, and materials that we needed to construct the fishpond.
We selected a site for the pond and began constructing it based on the guidelines we received from UMCOR and the consultant in July 2011. We finished constructing it in October and we stocked it with fingerlings in November.
Our group members, especially the women, are happy with the result. We care for the fishpond daily and now we are preparing to have a poultry program that is integrated with raising fish. The women are also cultivating land close to the fishpond to grow vegetables. We hope that the vegetables will provide income in the short run while the waste from the vegetables will provide food for the fish, which will provide income later. We are confident that we will harvest fish after three to four months. Fresh fish go for a high price in Yei Town and Juba City, so we are confident that we will get a good price.
On behalf of the members of the Worok fishpond group in Kenyi Payam of Lainya County, we are really very impressed and thankful for receiving this program and fingerlings from UMCOR.
Malish Joseph is a member of the Worok fishpond group in Kenyi Payam, Lainya County, Sudan.