XAVIER TATAMO, A PASSIONATE AND DETERMINED FISHERMAN

Author:  ADPP Mozambique

It all started in Mozambique, in the community of Nhambando. As a child, Xavier Tatamo learnt to swim on the banks of the Cahora Bassa reservoir. Ever since, he has developed a strong interest in fishing. Fast forward to today, he is a 58 year-old fisherman and a proud owner of a dugout log boat, who never outgrew his passion.

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Needless to say that in 2020, when a fishing club project started in his small village, he was happy as a clam. Xavier fell in love with the project and joined the association ‘Force of Change’. Shortly after, he was elected president of the association with a total of 37 votes. The other members acknowledged his enthusiasm and fondness about fishing and believed that he could be a great leader for the club.

Thanks to this opportunity, Xavier bonded with the fishing instructor, Agostinho. He enjoyed talking to him and has been able to learn a lot on sustainable and climate resilient livelihoods, including home gardens. This was about to become another topic that he grew passionate about. It was not long before he started to participate in awareness campaigns on hygiene, against open defecation, and prevention of drinking polluted water.

Son of a peasant, Xavier comes from a modest background. For a long time, he has been living in a house with no toilet or latrine with his wife and 4 children. In 2021, during a conversation with Agostinho, Xavier expressed his desire to save some money from the income he derives from fishing. He would then be able to build a latrine in his house, with the same ecological characteristics as the ones built by the projects of the association.

On the same wavelength

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It was a slow and costly process, but Xavier’s determination was enough to keep it going! In mid-February, he had already dug a pit for the latrine. He started to set up the latrine walls in March and was done with the construction by the end of May. Since the fish catch season was very low in June, Xavier's income or savings were insignificant. However, by being part of savings and credits groups created by the project he managed to save money. This was critical for him to buy six beams locally and was able to cover the roof of the latrine. Finally, in July, Xavier would cover the latrine with zinc sheets and could enjoy his hard work with great pride and joy.

Xavier Tatamo is an inspiration: he has been reaping the benefits of his passion and determination. He sets an example that many local fishermen are encouraged to follow!