Yaoundé - 02 October 2023 -

Nachtigal dam: Cameroon to commission Central Africa's first run-of-river fishery by Q1-2024

Nachtigal dam: Cameroon to commission Central Africa's first run-of-river fishery by Q1-2024
  • Comments   -   Thursday, 06 July 2023 16:32

(Business in Cameroon) - The fishery component of the 420MW Nachtigal Dam project will be implemented by August 2023, according to the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), the company overseeing the dam construction project. This component is expected to result in the operationalization of the very first fishery built in a run-of-river dam in Central Africa by the first quarter of 2024, as supported by the NHPC.

"At the reservoir of the dam, a retention area will be created with fish inside the waters. Designated individuals will then be able to engage in fishing activities there," reveals a source close to the matter. "Nachtigal is a run-of-river dam, unlike Lom Pangar, which is a reservoir dam. For example, Song Loulou, which is also a run-of-river dam like Nachtigal, does not have a fishery. It is much more challenging to establish fisheries in run-of-river dams as it requires good coordination of the annual fishing schedule and the operation of the plant," explains Asser Yoke, a fisheries expert at the NHPC.

The fishery is expected to produce 30 tons of fish yearly. It is supposed to come with a landing dock, and training programs to teach reservoir fishing and fish processing techniques.  NHPC explains that the fishery component is aimed at restoring the livelihoods of fishermen and fishmongers affected by the Nachtigal dam construction project, complementing the financial compensations already provided. Overall, it will benefit around 200 people. 

NHPC's initiative aligns with the dam water fishing project being developed by the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Animal Industries (Minepia) and the state electricity company EDC since 2021. If successfully implemented, this government project should boost local fish production. It will therefore contribute to the achievement of the import-substitution goals pursued by the government to develop the domestic industry and reduce the country's reliance on imports of essential commodities, such as fish and rice, which have been negatively impacting the trade balance annually.


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