Facilities in Lake Ngami Conservation Trust
As fish was caught and monitored at the main camps they were then brought to the market for selling, at the market place an officer from LNCT was a middleman between the seller and the buyer. 2017 was a year of trial and tribulations, fishing season started 1st march 2017, just before the end of March a dried fish export ban was put in place, this caused a lot of hardships, Zambians had bought a lot of dried fish and they were not allowed to cross the border with their fish, fishermen had banked a lot of dried fish from the previous fishing season and they were and they were also not allowed to export them, majority relied on the dried fish since it had huge returns, LNCT tried its luck to convince the Ministry of (Environment Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism ), to at least allow the business of dried fish for a month so that Zambians could manage to cross with the fish they already bought and possibly the fishermen could clear their bank of fish, unfortunately this failed, the minister ( hon. Tshekedi Khama) was not convinced so the ban could not be stopped, technically the business of fishing died and fishermen were forced to try fresh fish which was also an impediment ,fresh fish was only bought locally but in less volumes and without profits since the was a competition for market, some decided to quit right there while some decide to remain in the business, a reduced number of fishermen from the camps affected the Trust ,hence was forced to close some camps and put the remaining groups into the remaining two camps. Gradually the fishermen could not fulfill their agreements with the Trust and the camps ended up being closed towards the end of August.
As the ban was imposed the lake also gradually dried-up, and this could not only be a gloom but also a fortune to the six communities of Lake Ngami, the Lake left behind a dense bush covered a land of about 50 kilometers. With support from UNDP LNCT turned this outback into charcoal, Lake Ngami community escort guides were trained to make charcoal, charcoal production machinery was bought, Lake Ngami branding was made and also the packaging for the charcoal was made. About ten thousand (10 000) bags for packaging is neatly packed at LNC office store room.
Generally, a lot of activities were to take place this year 2018; Bird Viewing, Boat Cruise, Safari Camps available of which its Construction is ongoing. December 2017 was the end of LNCT staff contracts, the Lake has dried up, the machines and pots are ready for the project of charcoal, unfortunately effort to run the operations are slow due to lack of funds at LNCT. Alternatively, as soon as LNCT recovers from these crises of lack of funds a series of activities are to take place, Charcoal production as the main activity of 2018 and surely soon Lake Ngami will engage the communities into these project as an alternative to generate income to lay a foundation for other activities to come, this engagement is one of the trust responsibilities to bring back to the community and hence uplift the livelihoods of its beneficiaries.