By Momodou Jarju
President Adama Barrow has announced with elation that the fisheries sector of the country has generated in revenue over one hundred and seventy-eight million dalasi from September last year to date.
Barrow said the fisheries sector is a key revenue earner for The Gambia and during the period under review, the industrial fisheries sub-sector created employment for one thousand and thirty-six (1036) Gambian youths, mainly as fisheries observers and deck-hands on board industrial fishing vessels.
“I am happy to report that from September 2019 to-date, the sector generated total revenue of One Hundred and Seventy-Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand and Six Hundred and Eight Dalasis (D178, 710, 608.00) from industrial fishing operations. This was earned through the EU-Gambia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, fishing licenses, fines and fish landings,” he said on Thursday at the State of the Nation Address in Banjul at the national assembly chambers.
Nonetheless, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrow said to reduce the economic impact the outbreak has on small scale operators in the fishing industry, the suspension on night fishing has been deferred from 1st August to 30th November, 2020.
He added: “Turning to the water sub-sector, regular water monitoring through sampling and purification are important activities for access to clean water. The Department of Water Resources has intensified such activities through support from development partners and partner institutions.”
President Barrow said under the Government of The Gambia and UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation, support has been extended to schools and health facilities, saying sanitation facilities have been provided for five (5) schools and water supply systems for six (6) lower and upper basic schools across four regions of the country.
In addition, he said the construction and rehabilitation of water supply systems in five (5) health facilities, and provision of adequate sanitation facilities for the health facilities in Basse and Diabugu, have also been accomplished.
Furthermore, Barrow said the Department of Water Resources, in partnership with UNICEF, has started the process of procuring essential substances and equipment, including water storage facilities, to improve on water testing, purification and distribution.
These, he went on, will improve water supply and sanitation activities, particularly in rural communities.
Earlier this year, Barrow said the Fisheries Ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders, handed over twenty-seven (27) solar-powered water supply systems within the five regions of the country.
“Forty-seven (47) communities, with a combined population of over fifty thousand (50,000) rural dwellers, now benefit from this project. This was achieved through the Saudi Sahelian Project Phase Five (5),” President Barrow said.