30.03.2005 Regional News

Shed constructed for fishmongers at Accra Beach

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Accra, March 30, GNA - The MP for Odododiodoo, Mr Samuel Ayikwei Mankattah, on Monday handed over a shed estimated at over 12 million cedis to the fishing community at the Old Accra Harbour at James Town in Accra, on behalf of the Kissberg Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Mr Mankattah who is the National Co-ordinator of the NGO founded by Mrs Henrietta Akuyea Kissieh, a Ghanaian resident in United States said the Foundation was dedicated to alleviating poverty in Ga communities especially those along the coast.

He said the shed was to provide shelter for fishmongers who had to wait under the sun and rain for hours waiting for the fishermen to land their catch.

The MP stated that under the second phase of the project another shed would be put up for the Chief Fisherman and his elders, which would serve as the meeting place for arbitration and other social gatherings at the beach.

Mr Mankattah said two more sheds would be built for visitors and customers at the beach to buy fish and porters while the fourth one would serve as a fish market.

Before the commissioning of the shed the MP led the fishermen and fishmongers in a three-hour clean up exercise sweeping, weeding, de-silting drains and clearing rubbish, which had piled up especially at the entrance and the beach.

Mr Mankattah appealed to the people to sustain the exercise to keep the beach clean to ensure that fish was sold in hygienic surroundings to maintain the health of the public.

He urged owners of old canoes, which could not be put to sea again to remove them to decongest the beach.

The Chief Fisherman of the Ga State, Nii Abeo Kyerekwnda IV, commended Mr Mankattah for his efforts to improve facilities at the beach within the short period that he had been an MP and called on the fishing community to support him.

He also praised the Foundation and expressed the hope that the other phases of the project would be executed as planned.

Mr Mankattah told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that after the establishment of the NGO last two years he started organising the fish smokers into a society.

He said the Foundation last year distributed 1,000 Chorkor Smokers to the members to increase production and their incomes to ensure an improved standard of living.

Mr Mankattah said 15 traditional earth-oven smokers were also given to women who were not interested in the Chorkor Smokers. It also provided them with a soft loan of 500,000 cedis each with the beneficiaries paying 50,000 cedis per month into a revolving fund to enable as many people members to benefit.

The NGO supplied members of the society with protective and working gear such as khaki uniforms and goggles against smoke and fire. The MP took GNA round to inspect some of the 40 canoes at the beach, which were supplied with five gallons of paint each through the Chief Fisherman for their rehabilitation.

The National Co-ordinator of the NGO said the Foundation was looking for land to establish a training institute and appealed to the Chiefs and Elders in the constituency for support to enable the unemployed youth to acquire skills to establish their own businesses. Mr Mankattah stated that the Foundation would also establish a clinic at the beach with a Medical Doctor to take care of the health needs of the community.

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