General News of Wednesday, 10 August 2005
Ekumfi Immuna (C/R), Aug 10, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister for Fisheries, said on Tuesday that the government is to strengthen the security agencies to track down child traffickers in the coastal areas. She said the trafficking children some as young as two years to communities along the Volta Lake and elsewhere for fishing was alarming, adding that, they could be exploited for expeditions.
Mrs Asmah said these at a durbar of Queen Mothers, Fishermen and Fishmongers of the nine communities in the Ekumfi Traditional Area at Ekumfi Immuna in the Mfantseman District of the Central Region. She urged Chiefs, Assembly Members and opinion leaders in the communities to assist the security agencies to help in curbing trafficking in the area.
The Minister called on women in the areas to find a more acceptable alternative of taking care of their children instead of offering them to traffickers.
She stated that the Ministry recognised the level of poverty in coastal areas and had come out with packages to offer skill training and credit to create jobs for wealth creation.
The Minister said measures had also been taken to curb the over-exploitation of fish stocks using illegal methods and gave the assurance that steps would be taken to check the depletion of marine resources.
Mrs Asmah stated that a more prudent way of pre-mixing fuel distribution would be adopted minimize corruptions in the system soon. The Minister promised to assist women, children and other vulnerable groups to get credit, child-care and educational facilities and to check environmental degradation and to embark on an alternative means of livelihood.
Mr Joseph Boakye Danquah, Deputy Minister for Women and Children Affairs, called on parents to send their children especially the girls to school to become professionals and to acquire skills. He called on the people to endeavour to reduce their expenditure on funerals and other social activities to enhance their economic advancement.
Nana Odwir Ababio III, Chief of Ekumfi Immuna, appealed to the Ministry for Fisheries for assistance to provide them with a landing quay and storage to promote fishing in the area. He stated that due to the absence of such facilities most fishermen and their children of school going age had migrated to Half-Assini and Yeji.
The Chief also appealed to the government to rehabilitate the road from Ekumfi Essuahyia to the town to facilitate the transportation of goods and services.