Expansion work on the Albert Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour at Sekondi in the Western Region has begun in earnest with a capital outlay of 17 million dollars.
The project components include the expansion of the breakwater and the tonnage of the ice plant to 30 tonnes as well as the creation of a new berthing space, a wharf of 180 metres and a water facility.
It also involves the construction and upgrading of roads, drive way to cart and push trucks, offices, pavements, and walkways.
The work which forms part of the second phase of the Takoradi Port expansion project is aimed at making the port city attractive and responsive to the needs of the growing maritime, fisheries and extractive industries.
It is being carried out by Ecoh Corporation, a Japanese Consulting Engineers. The job is expected to be completed in December 2017.
Speaking at a durbar held at the fishing harbour to mark the beginning of the work, Mr Richard Anamoo, Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), appealed to the fishing community to support and cooperate with the contractors to execute the work on schedule.
“You are stakeholders, so we will need your understanding for us to complete the project to deliver on our mandate,” he told the community.
He explained that the GPHA decided to expand the fishing harbour because the facility had become too small for business, adding that the expansion would facilitate the booming of fishing business in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis,
Mr Richard Anamoo said the Authority, with the support of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Ghana Navy, sought funding from the Japanese government to undertake the project.
The Chairman of the GPHA, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, said the project was part of the social interventions by the government to improve the fisheries sector as well as the lot of its players.
“The good news is that we have discussed with the contractors the need for local content where, apart from the expatriates, the rest of the workers would be Ghanaians. In all, about 1,200 people will be employed and the youth will be the main beneficiary.”
The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, believed that the expansion work would leave a legacy for generations to come, and urged the residents not to be swayed by any misinformation.
The Western Regional branch of the Ghana Inshore Canoe Fisheries Association made various demands from the management of the GPHA in order to enhance their work.
The demands include provision of a bank, within the fishing harbour, additional sanitary facilities and hydrants.
Hitoshi Takemoto, General Manager of Ecoh Corporation, assured that they were determined to deliver the project before Christmas of 2017.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi