Extent of Participation in Co-management on Lake Tanganyika, Zambia
A study was conducted through administration of questionnaires, personal interviews and group discussions in the three strata along the shores of Lake Tanganyika Fishery in Mpulungu district to assess the extent of participation in co-management in conserving fish stocks. Using simple random sampling method, a total of 110 respondents (60 fishers and 50 non-fishers) were selected; Data was analyzed in SPSS. The results indicated that there were 11 village conservation and development committees (VCDCs) that existed and were established by UNDP-GEF/LTRIMP-project but were not working and 3 of them were based at Chipwa, Chitili and Kapata protected areas. In all, there were 77 VCDCs covering the four strata and more than 56 were in the first three strata at the time co-management was introduced in the 1990s. The study also revealed that the Resource users’ actions undermined the VCDCs’ and the entire co-management activities resulting in an unsustainable management of the Lake resources. The VCDCs also lacked skills and legal power for operating savings and credit services and for implementing the agreed goals and objectives of the institution. The resource users also lacked the much needed information and extension education and services in fisheries management. There was no significant change in the users’ attitudes, perceptions and cultures so as to contribute significantly in the management of the Lake. In conclusion, the co-management approach apparently was ineffective in conserving fish resources in Lake Tanganyika. There was need to build VCDCs’ capacity by providing relevant extension education, equipment, legal empowerment and sustainable financial means or resources.
Conserving, Fish Resources, Co-management, Lake Tanganyika
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