Countless women grab opportunity in Terekeka fishing site

A fish vendor share light moment with customer in Terekeka fishing site. Picture by Sidney Kanja, 15th March 2024


Despite the economic drowning in the Republic of South Sudan, women in Terekeka County in Central Equatoria State have defied the odds by participating in the fishing industry, a job they said supplements their daily expenditures while paying for their kids to go to school.

The fishing industry along the spill of the river in Central Equatoria’s Terekeka is one of the natural resources offering women opportunities to venture into business and supplement their family needs.

River Nile passes through Terekeka County’s headquarter, offering multiple opportunities for the people in the area. Wate-Na-Kita women center which is installed adjacent to the fishing site invented fish preservation site where women come to preserve fish before selling them to final consumers as well as supplying the city of juba

Mary Reuben is an advisor in the women center and was busy using the machinery to preserve the fish she purchased earlier in the day.

She says their center offer various methods of preserving the fish including meal packaging, smoking, and sun drying of fish and its products.

“We have different varieties of fish, there is fish meal which is grilled and packaged, and there’s the other one we preserve through smoking in the stove. Once it’s ready you’ll remove and then sell. Then we have one preserved through sunlight and another one with salt added to it. These are the things we do in this center.” Says Mary

Mary says through her business in the fishing industry she’s able to fend her family as well as pay for her children’s school fees.

“This work is helpful. When we work like this, now that today there is village savings. So we will go to save some money on 15th and 30th every month and when children report any arrears you’ll borrow from the group and payback later” Mary adds.

The center is open to every woman with least of their capital to go and use the facility at no cost.

Ifwon John, a mother in her early 20s has been selling here for the past two years. She also buys, preserve and resell fish in the Terekeka fishing site.

Ifwon says this is the only way she could send her kids to school. She applauds her family for allowing her engage use the facility at no cost. She says only fishermen are taxed.

“They don’t charge us anything; They say this is our work except for those ones in that stall” Ifwon expressed

Like Mary Reuben and Ifwon John, there are many women whose husbands cannot provide for everything in their houses.

The women urged their fellow women to join the hustle to live financial independent lives.

“Let them come out and work, because if they are idle they will die of poverty. When they are among us you will laugh and with the little you earn you will support your family peacefully” Adds Mary.

Giving women the opportunity to prove their worth, contributes immensely to their social wellbeing and upholding the role of women in the economic heckle.

In an effort to improve the industry and counter challenges, the director for fisheries in Terekeka County has called for the establishment of improved oven to preserve the fish and ice machine to preserve ease the struggles of the women.

“There is no improved oven, we need improve oven to aid fish smoking and even the sundried fish needs rack facilities for exposing the fish to the sun. Like in Bentiu where there is no fuel for processing, they sun-dry the fish. For our case it might decompose faster during rainy season” says Wani.

Wani also Women in the industry alongside the director for fisheries called on partners to support with the provision of the facilities to boost the industry.