Liberia: President Weah Donates Lifejackets to Fishermen to Ensure Safety at Sea

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Deputy Director General Hon. Augustine Musa Manoballah addressing the media on the arrival and offloading of one of the two 40 foot containers of life Jackets at the Mesurado Pier

Monrovia – President George Manneh Weah has fulfilled a promise to fishermen across coastal communities of Liberia by donating life-jackets to ensure their safety at sea.

It can be recalled in October 2021 at the official launch of Japanese donated YAMAHA engines to the Liberian government through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) in the port city of Buchanan, President Weah, responding to request by fisherfolks gracing the event, promised to provide life-jackets.

“The donation of the lifej-ackets is in fulfilment of the president’s promise to the fishermen”, Mr. Augustine M. Manoballah, Deputy Director General for Administration at the National Fisheries and Aquaculture (NaFAA) informed the local media on Friday March 11, 2022 when the jackets were being offloaded from two 40-foot containers at the fisheries authority’s technical office at the Mesurado Pier.

“And so, when the outboard machines were being launched in Buchanan, the fisherfolks also raised this concern with His Excellency, that we appreciate the engines, but we also plead with you that we need to be safe when we go fishing. And the president has answered the call of his people”.

Deputy Director General Monoballah said the fishermen had repeatedly spoken on the need for them to be issued life jackets to ensure their safety while at sea.  

“When we took over the fisheries sector, one of the concerns the fisherfolks raised was the issue of safety at sea. Many at times when these people go fishing, they encounter problem at sea, and it becomes difficult to rescue them because they have no protective gear”.

According to Mr. Manoballah, President Weah is concerned about the safety of fishermen while in search of livelihood, as such he has directed everyone uses of the safety gear to prevent any loss of life at sea.

“As a policy, we are going to ensure that all crew members on any canoe or vessel will use life jackets.

“The president has asked us to do because he’s concerned about their safety. We’ll reach a time where no one will go fishing without lifejacket”.

Meanwhile, Manoballah has revealed that NaFAA is working with the World Bank to ensure that monitoring devices are installed on all canoes to further safeguard artisanal fisherfolks.

“And so, in furtherance to this, we’ve also moved to work with our partner – the World Bank – to ensure that we have monitoring devices on all canoes to further ensure our people are safe at sea.

The lifejackets are expected to be distributed among fisherfolks in the soonest possible time.

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