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02.03.2009 General News

James Town Fishermen to Reject Mills’ Dam if…

By Charles Nii Ayiku

The people of James town Beach in Accra have vowed to resist any attempts by the government to rebuild a habour at the beach unless they are assured of jobs for the indigenes there.

They are of the opinion that past governments have taken them for a ride for far too long and are now demanding their fair share of the national cake.

They were speaking to this reporter after a high-powered delegation of the Gadangme Renaissance Union from the United States of America donated several implements to help them maintain cleanliness at the beach.

The items, valued at about six thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh¢6,000), included shovels, wheel barrows, rakes, brooms among others and are to be used for cleaning the beach regularly to ensure that fish that is sold to the public from the beach is without contamination.

Large quantities of fish are supplied to the public from the beach by residents whose main stay is fishing.

The problem of pair trolling, expensive pre-mix fuel for fishing boats, lack of adequate cold storage facilities among other problems facing fishermen took centre stage in the National Democratic Congress' campaign towards the 2008 elections, culminating in a promise by the party to build habours for the fishermen.

That earned Professor Mills the confidence of the people leading to his victory in the elections.

But just two months after the Mills-led administration took office, fishermen at the James Town beach are beginning to harbor fear that jobs that would be created as a result of rebuilding what used to be Ghana's biggest habour after it was relocated to Tema would be take up by non-residents at their expense.

The delegation, led by the USA representative of the Gadangme renaissance Union, Ebenezer Nack Nettey assured the people of their continued technical, intellectual and financial support to reclaim the beach's past glory.

The Gadangme Renaissance Union is an association of Gadangme people seeking the welfare and empowerment of their people after decades of exploitation by colonial masters and governments.

Their long term plan is to ensure that the beach is turned into a first class port, a tourist site with the aim of generating wealth for the fishermen there.

-Charles Nii [email protected]