In line with government’s Presidential Initiative, the Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has launched the “Coastal Sanitation Project to support the fishing industry in the country.
Launching the project at a colourful ground-breaking ceremony at Lower Axim in Axim in the Western Region at the weekend, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Sherry Ayittey, disclosed that the Coastal Sanitation Project is aimed at enhancing sanitation within fishing communities in the country.
She went on to add that the project will also witness the construction of toilet facilities in the fishing communities.
“Each facility will include the construction of 12-seater toilets with a 12-unit washroom [facility,] a pavilion to host social services such as health, education, biogas plant, borehole and water reservoir for its efficient running,” the minister disclosed.
Additionally, she indicated that the project will bring about high quality fish “while at the same time safeguarding the health of our fishers.”
The first phase, according to Hon. Ayittey, will be implemented in thirteen (13) selected fishing communities across the country including Anto Apewosika in Axim in the Western Region
These communities, she said, are Anuakpor, James Town, Kpone all in the Greater Accra Region; Dago, Moree and Otuam—Central Region; Abuesi and Bonyee in the Western Region; Akplortortor, Amutinu and Hedranuwo and Marine Matikpo—Eastern Region.
To this end, Hon. Ayittey entreated fishermen and the coastal communities to see the project as their own.
She urged them to provide the necessary support to ensure the success of the project.
“It is my expectation that they [the fishing communities] will make maximum use of the facilities and ensure its maintenance,” she expressed.
The minister for fisheries and aquaculture development gave the assurance that the Mahama administration will continue with the distribution of fishing input including outboard motors to support fishermen.
“Under the programme fishermen pay 60% of the cost price of the outboard motors whiles the District Assemblies pay the remaining 40% through their Common Fund, stressing that since its inception, over one thousand six hundred (1,600) outboard motors have been distributed to fishermen,” she said.
According to Hon. Ashittey, the fisheries sector has a huge potential to earn foreign exchange for the country.
Ghana’s export of fish and fisheries to the European Union (EU), she said, was over 500 million yearly.
It was against this backdrop that she stressed the need to ensure hygienic sanitary conditions at the landing beaches and fishing communities.
That, she intimated, will enable the fishing industry to take advantage of opportunities out there in terms of export of fish and earn income for themselves and the country as a whole.
In his welcome address, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Lower Axim East, James Baidoe, was full of praise for President John Dramani Mahama.
The completion of the project, he said, will prevent defecating into the sea and along the beaches.
“The Costal Sanitation Project will equally keep our beaches clean and help attract tourists which will earn Ghana foreign exchange.
For his part, Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Hon. Kweku T. Kessie, bemoaned the situation where beaches in this country have become defecating grounds by some recalcitrant residents along the coastal areas.
He warned that after the completion of the project the law will deal ruthlessly with anybody who goes to “desecrate our beaches.”
He also indicated that the project will help in no small manner to eradicate communicable diseases in the coastal communities.
In this regard, he urged beneficiary fishing communities to lend their full support to ensure that the project stands the test of time.
Source: Ghana/todaygh.com/Kwamena Ananse