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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Source: Kwame Mensa, Contributor

Sea water does not protect you from coronavirus - fishermen cautioned

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The Senior Programmes Officer of Friends of the Nation Kwadwo Kyei Yamoah is cautioning fishers and residents in the fishing communities to disabuse their minds from the notion that sea water can protect them from any Covid 19 infection.

Speaking on Radio 360 ' fisheries discussion programme" Y3 Kor Por" (let us go fishing) in Takoradi , Kwadwo Kyei Yamoah decried how the various safety protocols to fight Covid 19 are not being enforced in fishing communities in the Western Region.

“ distancing and various safety protocols against Covid -19 by Ghana Health Service (G.H.S) are not being adhered to in our fishing communities. If you watch you will notice how various District Assemblies are ensuring social distancing in markets like Sekondi Takoradi and commercial vehicles but the same cannot be said of the various fishing communities to protect the fisher folks because Covid -19 is very serious and it must be ensured all are protected.

Now in Takoradi we have 9 cases. We has only 2 from the onset in Ghana and now over 1,550 and this is the more reason why the same protection you give yourself in various commercial vehicles you apply same in fishing vehicles but the same numbers in fishing vehicles is what is still being uses with no reduction.

"...I do not know where this is coming from but some are saying the Covid 19 viruses cannot stand sea water but this must be debunked in no uncertain terms and no fisher must believe or take mongers claim if you use the sea water to wash your hands and face, the virus will disappear ...No; let us protect ourselves well; the Senior Programmes Officer emphasised.

He wondered why fishermen are waiting for some donations before they protect themselves.

" this point you must take it on yourself to protect yourself as a nose mask do not cost that much , with less than 2 cedis you can get one to protect yourself..we hear the regional minister saying at some point in time without the nose mask you cannot enter there fishing harbour but it must be implemented now that we have seen that many there do not have or put it on. We must let the security there enforce it or refuse anyone without it entry to the fishing harbour and without a nose mask, remix must not be sold to any fisher folks "; he emphasised.

The Project Coordinator of the Far Ban Bo initiative, Kwame Mensah revealed that the project has deepened community participation in various fishing communities.

"If you go to our fishing communities their participation in fisheries management was nonexistent as the role of the chief fisherman was not recognised in our laws as the head of the fishermen at the community level. As a result of the Illegal Unreported Uregulated (I.U.U) committee, communities have taken initiative to ensure illegal fishing activities are reported like in Volta Region where the committee reported for 2 fishing vessels to be arrested...also when financial institutions collapsed with no one ready to invest, the village savings and loans association gave out 32,000 dollars (over 220, 000 cedis) was shared to 11 group contributors per how much they contributed.

An Associate Professor at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Ghana, Professor Francis Nunno lauded the Far Ban Bo initiative saying it will help revive the fishing sector in Ghana
The Far Ban Bo Initiative was initiated in 2017 and ends in 2020 which is being implemented in Shama , Aboadze , Abuesi in Western Region and Anomabu in Central Region and Kpando and Keta in Volta Region to name a few.
The Project is being funded by the European Union and implemented by Care Ghana, Friends of The Nation and Oxfam in Ghana.