Iris Fishes out The Hungry And Feeds Northmead, Dating Fish Farmers
Philanthropist and Tourism Entrepreneur Iris Kaingu, took her charity work to the streets of Northmead, feeding an estimated 300 people with a full meal on Saturday.
Everyone was invited, as she also sent out live tweets and videos, calling on her fans in Northmead and surrounding community to join her for lunch, after her charity walk.
“We are doing this for Zambia and according to reports, there are four areas that are dire need of our support, as in immediately. And then, there are other areas that will be in a crisis, if there is no intervention by March 2020, so I am hoping we can identify these areas, and render some support with your help.”
“I live in Sesheke and I see how terrible the river is drying up there. The rivers are drying up due to climate change, but also un-sustainable fishing is a growing concern” Kaingu said.
She said, Mwandi used to be the fishing hub and you could go and get any type of fish, including tiger fish. But now the river was drying up.
Mwandi means ‘plenty of fish in Silozi’ and is a small town on the Zambezi River in the Zambezi district of the Western Province in Zambia.
According to a report from Mwandi, dating back to 2015, an internationally funded not-for-profit organisation partnered with a local community trust with hope of preserving aquatic life while looking to improve livelihoods, supplying close to 50,000 fish to the waters in the Zambezi.
“There are importations of very small mosquito nets and every time it’s fishing season, people use those Chinese imported mosquito nets and drag almost everything out of the water, and hence this season we literary have had very little fish” Kaingu said.
“We used to have a place called ‘fish galore’ and it’s no more. Tiger fish has also become smaller. Tiger fish as you know are very big fish, but lately the one’s we have had to fish out of the water, is very small. So, as the Iris Kaingu Foundation, we will be giving out fish feed and bait to people in fish farming areas that are most affected and in need of sustainable assistance.”
“This is to complement Government’s efforts and ongoing supply of fish cages to fish farmers across the country”, Kaingu added.
Kaingu said they had gone to Northmead to help the people in the area with something sustainable and considering it’s not a fish farming community, her foundation would help set up a car wash.
“As a foundation, like all other philanthropists, we are charged to provide aid and help, but you can’t just keep giving. You have to empower people.”
“The reason we came to Northmead is because, people always handy and when we are out buying refreshments or groceries and many times I have people cleaning my car in less than a minute, so we are going to help these people with a car wash” Kaingu said.
“We brought food so we could all eat together and fill up before looking at how we can work together with this community” Kaingu said.
The foundations was formally incorporated on Friday, however Kaingu set up the Iris Kaingu Foundation over a year ago as a way of creating awareness around community needs and has used the name to fundraise, while engaging stakeholders and sponsors.
“I also took time to visit the Disaster Management Mitigation Unit a few days ago, and took time to look at areas in need of help. So, we will look at each community and identify their specific needs before embarking on support” Kaingu said before sitting to have a meal with volunteers and several call boy that had come for a feed”, Kaingu shared.
And just as she was about to start winding up her meal, two boys aged between 5 and 7, walked up to the team hoping to eat what was left over. However, Kaingu took two empty plates and asked for people to share something off their plates, as most had already been saved after which she proceeding to sit and eat with them.
The Iris Kaingu Foundation also took time to visit the prison cells, at a local police post in the area, before seating out to talk and interact with the many people that had come to interact and have something.
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