Zimbabwe: Lake Kariba – Visiting a Fishing Village

When the Zambezi River was dammed and the massive Lake Kariba created in the 1960s, hundreds of villages that relied on the riverine agriculture were flooded and destroyed. People were forcefully moved to higher ground without compensation. Eventually, the government issued fishing concession to people to commercially fish for bream and tigerfish and thus earn some meager money and existence. “Commercial” is really a stretch here, as people are only allowed to fish with primitive nets, at certain times of the day, from equally primitive boats. The fish is then salted and dried and sold to wholesale buyers at about a $1 per kilogram. This is the only source of income for dozens of such fishing villages around Lake Kariba. We visited one of such villages, colorful and pretty, with fish drying on wooden ladders, kids running around, and people going around their daily life in front of their orange clay house. A piece of real Africa and a humbling experience!