FISH AND FISHING IN THE RIVER MUNGONYAAT BUBANGO, KIGOMA DISTRICT, TANZANIA
Martin Walsh, Laisha Said, Beatrice Marwa, and Keith Banister
The following notes describe the results of a brief investigation into fishing practicesin the River Mungonya at Bubango in Kigoma District. Bubango was first visited byMW and BM on 30 October 1996. The purpose of this visit was to familiariseourselves with the village and its environment as a prelude to planned action researchin the neighbouring village of Mtanga. Both villages border Gombe Stream NationalPark: Mtanga on the lakeshore to its south, and Bubango in the interior to its east. Onthis first unscheduled visit we met with the Secretary of the village Social ServicesCommittee and the Secretary of the local CCM Branch, who kindly took us down tothe River Mungonya, in the valley to the west of the village centre and main road.Following a discussion of the local fish fauna, we made an appointment to return at alater date, in order to collect more information and, hopefully, samples of some of thefish themselves.The second visit to Bubango took place on 3 November 1996, when MW and BMwere joined by LS and KB. While MW and LS interviewed a small group of elders inthe village centre, BM and KB went down to the River Mungonya with localfishermen to collect samples of the fish. In addition to collecting information on fish,fishing practices and background data on the village, this exercise also provided uswith an opportunity to assess the ease of conducting this type of work and the kind of methods which might be employed. Our relative newness in the village andsomewhat informal introduction posed a problem: fish had not been caught inadvance of our visit as requested, the first fisherman who was asked by our hosts toassist in collecting samples refused to do so without payment (we declined to pay),and three of the four elders hastily assembled for interview were clearly impatient tofinish as quickly as possible (one particularly so, when it became clear that we wouldnot be offering them payment either). Nonetheless, a good deal of information wasrecorded and a number of samples collected, and the visit ended on a high note.
Bubango Village is in Bitale Ward, which in turn is part of Mahembe Division.During our second visit we met the new VEO, who was previously at Mahembe. Thetotal population of the village in 1994 was over 4,500 people, living in sixsub-villages. These include the sub-village of Gwamanga, settled by Rundi (Hutu)refugees in 1972, and which now has 83 households (
). The rest of the village isdominated by Ha, most of whom are Moslem. There are a small number of Fipa in