Gemeni: a known fishing community now ‘fishing’ charcoal

Charcoal burning is gradually taking over fishing activities along the Volta Lake.
Development experts argue would further aggravate the already worsening water level of the lake and deplete fish stock.
Gemeni, in the South Dayi district of the Volta Region, is one of the 1,232 fishing communities along the banks of the Volta Lake. About 384 of these communities are found in the Volta Region.
These communities are dominant with inland fishing activities of which the lake Volta is the mainstay of their business with about 140 species of fish stock.
Unfortunately, years of over exploitation, use of unorthodox fishing practices and climate change have led to fast depletion of the fish stock.
Inhabitants of these communities are now left with little or no jobs. Many, therefore, have to switch to other means of survival.
Due to that, the residents of Gemeni and surrounding communities for instance have taken to charcoal burning.
They cut down forests and tree spices along the lake, when the lake itself is in dire need of vegetation cover.
The Gemeni market is now flooded with charcoal instead fish and fish products. This has left the once vibrant fresh fish market at Gemeni in the South Dayi district is now a pale shadow of itself.
The usually busy fish market has become the major supplier of charcoal to various parts of the country.
The entire landing site market is always inundated with heaps of sacks of charcoal while trucks and head porters have also transformed from carting baskets of fish into charcoal couriers.
But the Volta Inland Fishermen Association says this must not be allowed to continue.
The association wants a pragmatic approach to an alternative livelihood to help protect the environment and safeguard the future of the fisher folks.
Story by Peter Addator | TV3|

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