The fishing industry in Ghana is undergoing a long awaited enhancement with the construction of a Standardized Harbour at Jamestown in the Greater Accra region.
The Government of Ghana and Chinese government partnership project is located at the traditional wharf behind the Jamestown Lighthouse.
The Gamashie have fished in the coastal waters of Ghana for hundreds of years before their lands were colonized. A wooden pier raised during the post-colonial below the Lighthouse has served the fishermen as their harbour where they mostly launched their boats from the shores.
But with the commencement of contruction of the habour, the traditional fishing community has been relocated to a temporary site reclaimed from the sea at the beach front opposite the Ghana Fire Service Training School along the highway from Jamestown to Korle-bu.
“The harbour development is a project that was marked for construction with renovation of the fishing lagoon near the temporary relocation site since the administration of Ghana’s first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah”.
the Director of the Ga Mantse Development Agency Mr. Nii Teiko Tagoe explained to www.zamireports.com during a site visit.
The construction of the fishing harbour by the Chinese Railway Construction Company (CRCC) with funding support from China Aid to a degree brings to the forth some social responsibilities to the Gamashie fishing community.
“The initiative will displace the fishing community for the approximately thirty (30) months duration calculated for the fishing harbour’s completion”.
With this, Mr. Tagoe revealed the persistence with which the Ga Mantse Development Agency followed up the project before it was finally brought to execution.
He explained the fishing community has struggled to compete with foreign fishing companies which take advantage of the Tema Ports with their modern fishing boats.
“The firshermen of the Gamashie fishing community sail up and down the Ghana coastline going as far as Cape Coast to try to bring in enough quantities of fish to sutain their families”.
The low yield with the cost of fish rising to competitive international rates have made survival from local fishing methods a daunting task.
In recent years, this has proven extremely difficult with the presence of faster and bigger boats by the Chinese and other foreign fishing companies on Ghana’s waters crippling the growth of the local fishing industry.
The Ga Mantse Development Agency in collaboration with the local chieftaincy supervise the local fishing community ensuring the people of the Gamashie community are able to gradually emerge as a sustainable community despite the difficulties experienced from socio-economic and other political factors that stunt the rapid progress of local development.
By: Nkanwi Fokwa Ambe and Nsiah Kwabena Collins|www.zamireports.com|Ghana