By: Kebba AF Touray
The German Development Agency (GIZ) in collaboration with the Fisheries Department, GAMWORKS and the Community of Brufut, under the ECOWAS RSDF Pilot Project, has conducted a daylong cleansing exercise at the Brufut Fish Landing Site.
The pilot project in The Gambia implemented by GIZ is aimed at improving the livelihood and working conditions of 3000 young people, women and migrant returnees, through the provision of skill development in value chain, horticulture, poultry and fish farming.
The exercise was aimed at ensuring a clean fish landing site, to protect and promote the health conditions of both the fish and fisher folks, as well as ensure the fish that is caught on the site, is clean and safe for human consumption.
Mr Modou Njie, Principal Fisheries Officer at the Fisheries Department, told the convergence that they have been engaging the residents on the need to hold the cleansing exercise.
“The exercise aims to ensure a clean fish landing site because we eat the fish that is caught here. Therefore, it is of great significance to ensure that the fish we eat are clean and protected from germs and diseases,” he said.
Photo: Cleaning the road leading to the site
Njie told the gathering that the environment, where food is processed such as fish, should be kept clean.
“The project is also involved in other activities such as construction of a smoking house for the fish smokers. This is part of our efforts to promote your work in the fisheries sector. We would also provide training for the fisher folks to promote their work,” he said.
“All these are premised on a clean environment to ensure that the fish that we consume is kept clean and safe for consumption so that it can also penetrate markets both at national and international levels.”
Abdoulie Jallow, GIZ Team Leader, reminded the convergence that the ECOWAS Regional Stabilization and Development Fund, funded by GIZ in partnership with GAMWORKS, is constructing a fish smoking house and GIZ wants to continue with the project for the next two years with the fisher folk, in the areas of training on fish smoking and drying and business.
“During our previous engagements with the fisher folk, they have raised concerns on the issue of cleaning the site, so as to improve the hygiene conditions of the site and that is our purpose of today’s convergence,” he said.
Meanwhile, fisher folks at the Brufut Fish Landing Site have expressed gratitude towards the exercise, stating that it will help in ensuring that their fish and fish products are clean and safe for human consumption. They also urged both the fisher folks and the residents to take ownership of the exercise, saying cleanliness is next to healthiness.