Govt to construct 10 coastal fishing harbours next year

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister

Work on the construction of 10 coastal fishing harbours and landing sites are expected to commence next year following Cabinet’s approval to the commercial and financial agreement for that purpose.

The facility, $235million is currently before Parliament and work would commence in earnest as soon as it receives parliamentary approval.

The beneficiary communities are Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, Axim and Dixcove in the Western Region, Elimina, Winneba, Manford, Senya-Bereku, Moree and Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region and Keta in the Volta Region.

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who disclosed this at the Wednesday edition of the bi-weekly media briefings in Accra yesterday said the 11th one would be constructed in James Town, however, the funding of that particular project is a grant secured from the Chinese Government.

He said the construction of the harbour and landing sites formed part of the government’s vision to transform the fishing industry in the country.

“The government’s vision to transform Ghana’s fishing industry is clearly stated in the New Patriotic Party’s 2016 manifesto, under Agriculture and Rural Development, on pages 18 and 19…and includes a key pillar that says ‘Top of the agenda for fisheries will be the programme of building landing sites and storage facilities,” he stressed.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah explained that the development of the fish landing sites and ports was aimed at ensuring, safeguarding launching and landing of particularly, artisanal fishing canoes.

He said it was also to create and maintain a hygienic environment for the processing and handling of fish as well as, prevent and minimise post harvest losses while adding value to the fish caught by artisanal fishermen.

The Minister noted that the fisheries sector played a major role in the country’s economy contributing about three per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and also significant indirect contributions to the economy.

“These include employment opportunities for marine fishermen, boat yard workers, suppliers of auxiliary goods and services etc and exporting of fish products to earn foreign exchange.

He said it was estimated that up to 12 per cent of total national fish product was exported, thus the completion of the projects was expected to increase export volumes and directly increase the foreign exchange earnings of the country.

By Cliff Ekuful

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