Fishermen in Krachi East encouraged to wear Life jacket

Ho Social GMA Fishermen

The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has organised a safety sensitisation drive along the Naval Task Force (NTF) detachment communities on the Volta Lake and Oti Rivers.

Ho Social GMA FishermenThe four-member team deployed were Commander Festus Osei Brobbey, Mr Appiah-Oppong, Captain Darlington Akrofi and Mr Kwaku Ahenkorah.

The safety sensitisation exercise would be carried out at Dambai, Dzemeni, Kpando Tokor and Tapa Abotoase with the team already covering Yeji.

The authority has been organising such periodic education exercises every year to reduce water transport-related accidents as well as keep the banks and inland waterways and the beaches to be safe and clean.

During the interaction at Dambai, the fishermen were sensitised on the present security situation and the important role they play to prevent accidents while protecting lives and property.

Commander Brobbey, who led the safety team and also the Maritime Security Coordinator of Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) encouraged them to always make sure they wear the right safety gear (Life jacket) whenever they go fishing or transport cargo and passengers across communities, since wearing a life jacket will prevent them from sailing, when there is an accident.

He urged both boat operators and fishermen to always check and understand the weather conditions and tides before leaving home to help them choose the safest possible location to go on fishing expedition or to transport goods and passengers.

Mr Appiah Oppong and Captain Darlington Akrofi took turns to demonstrate the proper use of the life jacket in addition to simulation on the improvisation of fire-fighting techniques in the absence of extinguishers to the boat operators.

While the Authority is not mandated to address issues concerning premix fuel, the GMA safety team acknowledged the nexus between its availability for fishermen and safety on the two rivers. Boat operators who do not get enough fuel run on just one outboard motor which impacts the speed and time required to cover a particular distance.

They acknowledged bad weather, especially strong winds, which the operators require more speed to cut through to their destination. Those using one motor and little fuel as a result of economising on their fuel do not get the required impetus to cut through the wind and remain at its mercy, which is among the factors of accidents on the Lake.

The best outcome for such boats is hours of delay for goods and passengers who end up missing the weekly brisk market opportunities, thereby leading to loss of livelihood. In worst case scenarios, such boats are tossed and driven by the storms till they break to pieces leading to loss of lives and property.

The team promised to liaise with the local assembly and the Fisheries Commission to bring a lasting solution to the problem of the availability of fuel.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the shortage of premix fuel for fishermen, Commander Brobbey said the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson has inaugurated a new team for the National Premix Fuel Committee to facilitate the procurement and distribution of premix to the fishing communities and to curtail the incidence of diversion and hoarding.

By Kingsley Mamore, GNA


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