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14.08.2005 Regional News

Minister presents gifts to fishing communities in Mfantseman

GNA

Ekumfi Immuna (C/R), Aug 14, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, has presented used cloths and toys estimated over 200 million cedis to nine fishing communities in the Mfantseman District of the Central Region.

She said the government was aware of the level of poverty facing most of the communities, which made some of the parents to give out their children to be taken to Yeji and other fishing communities along the Volta Lake.

Addressing the Chiefs and people at Ekumfi Immuna, Mrs Asmah urged parents to work hard to send their children to school to become professionals and skilled workers to become responsible adults. Over 100 children from nine fishing communities who were sold to some fishermen at Yeji and along the Volta Lake for fishing activities were rescued recently by the Ministry for Women and Children Affairs and reunited with their parents.

She assured them that the Ministry of Fisheries would find alternatives means of income generating activities apart from fishing now that the industry was on the downside to migration from the district.

Mrs Doris Yeboah, Director of Fisheries, said fishermen had been empowered to go into animal rearing, kente weaving and okro production as an alternative livelihood to improve their living standards. She said 300 million cedis had been given to women's groups in the Awutu Senya as part of the efforts of the Ministry to reduce poverty among fishmongers.

Mrs Yeboah stated that over 300, 000 dollars had been given to 52 fishing communities in the Jasikan, Asuogyaman and Kpando districts along the Volta Lake for other alternative economic ventures. She noted that Chorkor smokers had also been supplied to fishmongers in the three districts to enable them to boost their activities during the bumper season.

Mrs Yeboah noted that those who had broken away from the poverty circle in the fishing communities were those who had diversified their economic activities.

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