The use of mosquito nets for fishing has been a common tradition for decades in Kasungu especially in communities along the Bua river in TA Njombwa. Bua Fishers’ Association chairperson, Chifuniro Kapereke revealed that mosquito nets have been an aid to their fishing business since the nets are locally found and easy to use.
“I have been in fishing industry for 7 years now; all this time I have been using mosquito nets meant for malaria prevention. Every time my family benefits from the free government mosquito nets, I could take them all and use for fishing. Even though it is not recommended, however this was the only cheap and easiest method”, Kapereke said.
The Zero Malaria Campaign is engaging citizens in selected communities through social accountability and Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) is using the Bwalo approach. Mziza Bwalo was formed and supported where issues are being discussed to identify gaps in malaria prevention and communities identify solutions.
Mziza Bwalo identified the use of mosquito nets for fishing as a major issue contributing cases of malaria in the area. Bwalo engaged traditional leaders and community members including fishermen where by-laws were formulated restricting fishermen from using the mosquito nets for fishing anyone found not abiding to the law is subjected to face the penalty by the local leader.
Speaking during the meeting which Mziza Bwalo had with fishermen, the Chairperson Richard Madziandere pointed out that the habit is a stumbling block to the fight against malaria in this area.
“I confirm that people from my area have been misusing the mosquito nets which is against the government initiative of fighting malaria, as a chief I’ll do everything to bring to book anyone not obeying the by-law” Senior Chief Njombwa said.
Fishermen positively responded to the call and assured Bwalo members and traditional leaders that they’ll abide to the law to safeguard the proper usage of mosquito nets leading to proper use. They have taken an oath that the tendency will be stopped with immediate effect, whosoever breaks the by-law will be brought to book.