LUSAKA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Ten-year-old Paul Mkandawire is always looking forward to completing his chores so that he can go and catch fish at a popular dam in Misisi compound, a slum in Zambia's capital, Lusaka.
Mkandawire is even more excited on non-school days as he is able to spend more time fishing, which has turned out to be his favorite recreational activity, and he has actively engaged in it for the past year.
"We come here almost every day to catch fish. It is something that I enjoy doing with my friends. The one who catches a lot of fish becomes the winner," enthused a young Mkandawire, who was accompanied by his eight-year-old sister, Lucy.
Apparently, Lucy is the one in charge of securing worms that are used as bait. She makes sure that her brother has enough worms when he ventures out to the dam for a catch using a simple fishing rod.
"I get the worms from a water-lodged place near our house," Lucy revealed while handing her brother a big worm that looked like a baby snake in size.
On the other side of the waters is a group of boys who have also made it a daily practice to fish at the dam, which according to locals came about as a result of years of stone quarrying.
Among them is 12-year-old Douglas Mambwe, a regular at the site with more than two years of fishing experience.
"I love fishing. I make sure to find time for the sport. Aside from having fun, I have fish to eat every day," explained Mambwe, who at the time of speaking to him had already caught over 15 small bream fish.
He added that spending time at the dam had helped him and his friends to stay away from rowdy groups in the compound, which is well known for many illicit activities.
While both Mkandawire and Mambwe considered fishing nothing more than a recreational activity, older members of the community see it as a great initiative that is helping supplement household food supplies.
"For these children, being at the dam catching fish is a fun sport. But we are aware that they are indirectly supplementing their individual household's food basket," explained Kennedy Banda, a resident of Misisi compound.
According to Banda, many households in Misisi compound are not able to afford decent meals and that the fish from the dam may actually be the only source of protein for some families.
"Families of some of these children actually rely on the fish from this dam to enhance their daily food supplies," Banda said.