Mr Darko-Mensah (second from right) being assisted by other officials to inuagurate the facility
Ghana Port and Habours Authority (GPHA) yesterday unveiled a new workshop for the Ghana Inshore Fishermen Association (GIFA) at New Takoradi, in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis of the Western Region.
The building comprised tools/changing room, a machine shop, electrical shop, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MOFAD) and GIFA offices, a conference room, would help repair boats at New Takoradi.
There is also a winch to help pull boats for repairs and reduce drudgery at the workshop.
The representative of GIFA, Eric Kofi Otoo, noted that the workshop would enhance productivity and reduce the burden of fishermen, who trekked long distances to Boatase for operations at odd times or to set -off for fishing expedition.
He added: “It will greatly relieve our women of carrying loads of fish from Boatase to the community. The facility will become the epicenter and heartbeat of all our fishing activities that take place ashore.
“It will benefit not only this community, but also the fishing communities along the coast of Ghana, who seasonally bring the vessel to new Takoradi for major maintenance and repairs.”
Mr Otoo added that, with the risky, and old dilapidated equipment, repair works were overstretched by the number of
vessels along the coast, saying that, “with modern tools and equipment through the assistance of GHAPOHA we anticipate an increase in the number of vessels that will queue up for space.”
The Director of Takoradi Ports, Mr Peter Amoo-Bediako, also said the journey to construct the GIFA workshop was “not an easy one.”
He was, however, happy that the engagements and partnership among stakeholders towards the project had become historic, and also restored the livelihoods of the fishers.
Mr Amoo-Bediako remarked “We want to improve the fisheries sector. It has not been easy but with patients and careful planning, we are all witnessing this historic event. We want good things for New Takoradi. Let’s all pray that we see more growth of Takoradi Port so that we can go on with the phase 2.”
Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere-Darko-Mensah, said the fisheries sector populated by about 3.2 million people, played a major contribution to the Ghanaian economy.
The sector, in the region, for example, contributed 60 per cent of Ghana’s total catch and 90 per cent of tuna.
Regional Director of Fisheries Greater Accra, who represented the Fisheries Commission, Mrs Hannah Agyei-Boakye, applauded GHAPOHA’s efforts towards providing social and economic benefits to industry players including providing infrastructure at various ports.
“The collaboration between the Commission and GHAPOHA today is part of the joint efforts in promoting the fishing industry to provide good nutrition for the Ghanaian public and income of industry players,” she noted.
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