The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned a $20 million expansion works on the Albert Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour at Sekondi in the Western Region.
The project is aimed at strengthening the capacity and functions of the Sekondi Fishing Harbour through improvement and expansion of harbour facilities to promote efficient coastal fishery operations.
The first phase of the Albert Bosomtwi Sam Fishing Harbour was constructed in 1998 through the Japanese Grant Aid Cooperation at a total cost of $13.5 million.
It included the construction of a 200m breakwater, 50m landing berth, 115m resting berth, 76m canoe jetty, 490m driveway and an ice-making plant of 15 ton per day.
Activities at the fishing harbour has, however, increased to 123 vessels especially during peak seasons from the planned 50 in-shore vessels.
Other factors such as fish catch volume, which has also increased to about 2,800 tons in 2010 from 1,300 tons in 2005, coupled with the length of fishing vessels, which contributed to low production of ice making, also called for the refurbishment.
Government of Ghana therefore requested for grant from Japan in 2010 and 2013 valued at $20 million to cater for the enhancement of functions as executed based on related measures such as resources management and thoroughness of fishery rules.
It took advantage of main integrated harbour for fishing vessels as well as congestion mitigation of the harbour and rehabilitation of related facilities.
The expansion works included high water tank, fuel supply facility, septic tank, additional ice plant, preparation berth, access driveway, additional administration office, in port road among other facilities.
Speakers including the Western Region Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Asare Ansah, and Minister for Transport Kwaku Ofori Asiamah expressed gratitude about the project.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Tsutomu Himeno, pledged the support of the Japanese government to help Ghana go beyond aid through skills empowerment.
Minister for Fisheries Elizabeth Afoley Quaye said government will be constructing some landing beaches across the country all geared towards improving the fishing industry in the country.
In his address, President Akufo–Addo condemned activities of pirates and criminals who have created a sense of insecurity on the country’s waters.
He, however, charged some fishing companies who have halted their activities in the country due to the menace posed by pirates to resume since the state security apparatus has been marshaled to curb the threat of piracy.
The President then charged GPHA to enhance the proper maintenance of the facility.
“Ghana’s waters are recognized internationally as being very safe. We will not allow pirates or criminals to rob us of this hard earned reputation and create a sense of insecurity on our waters.
“The 14 tuna fishing companies reported to have recently halted their operations due to the menace posed by pirates should resume.
“They have full assurance of government for their protection and safety as they go about their day to day activities.”
By Benjmain William Peters|3news.com|Ghana