Monrovia – The Conservation International has donated several items to the Liberia Artisanal Fishermen Association (LAFA) to strengthen the fishing sector across the country.
The donation will be used to provide technical assistance to Liberia Artisanal Fishermen Association to effectively advocate for fisher folks.
The donation includes, laptops, color printers, digital cameras, projectors, cartridges, rims of sheets, plastic chairs, and TVS motorbikes worth about US$9,175.00.
Speaking at the event in Banjor, Virginia Township over the weekend, the Director of Blue Ocean Program of the Conservation International Mike Olendo Praised LALA for being part of what he terms a national development.
Olendo also assured LAFA of his institution partnership. That way, he says will improve the fishing sector in the country.
“So, we are here today because we believe that what we are doing together with our partners. We hope to work with LAFA going forward,” he says.
Annette M. Johnson is the Women Chairlady of LAFA. She praised Conservation International for its efforts to make the works of the fishermen easy.
She expressed that the women in the fishing sector have been marginalized. “We need justice; we need for our voices to be heard,” she said.
Madam Johnson added: “We have been denied the right of going to school. Fishermen are not poor people but we don’t have the assets to go to school and learn further.”
Madam Johnson also stressed that the women in the fishing industry need sustainability. “We need training in small business management skills because we want to know how to manage our fish and our money, especially in the rural areas,” she said.
According to her, the equipment will help LAFA carry on its working process in a proper manner.
“The equipment will make fish processors give the correct data. Now we are mobile to go to various countries to know what is happening to our fellow fishermen,” she says.
Kofi Kwansah, representing the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NAFAA) praised the fishing folks and added that the government is striving to improve the fishing sector by providing machines and life jackets to fishermen across the country.
“NAFAA is in the business of improving the lives of our fishermen in the country. You contribute 10 percent of the GPA of this country,” he said.
Adding up, Levi Zoegargune Piah of the Environmental Protection Agency said the EPA and development partners are working together to achieve the PAPD by improving the lives of people in the fishing sector.
“Government alone cannot do all. This project is here to stay. You will receive more, more fishing equipment to improve your life. Fishermen and fishmongers are finding it difficult. The fishing sector is challenged. However, this equipment will carry us a long way,” he said.