Jul 4, 2016, 10:06 AM
The move by the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and the Ministry of Fisheries to construct a US$ 3.35 million fish market project is a worthy investment.
It is one thing to encourage people to venture into fishing, but quite another to provide them with adequate infrastructure such as markets.
We encourage the contractor, Guangxi International Construction Engineering Group Gambia Limited, of the fish market to ensure that a quality job is done.
The country has important fisheries resources in the Gambia River and Atlantic that serve as a source of income and employment for a good segment of the society, as well as a source of food for many Gambians.
Our water bodies contribute significantly to satisfying the national fish food requirement. However, in the absence of proper handling, processing and marketing infrastructure, the preservation and sale including export of large quantities of fish would continue to elude the nation, causing a big loss to the traders and the national economy.
With proper infrastructure, the losses, if at all, can be reduced to a minimal level through the use of modern technologies, including cold chains and power transports.
Since more infrastructure projects are coming for the fisheries sub-sector, we encourage our able-bodied men and women to join the trade, as they can be assured of a more convenient environment to run the business, such as the new proposed fish market.
We challenge the KMC, the National Roads Authority and the Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure to consider providing a good road network for fishermen (and women) to enable them travel with catches in good time to the markets.
We hope that the new project, when completed, would cater for all the needs of its prospective users.
It is also high time that more young people in the country took fishing as a profession to ensure continuous availability of fish and fish products in the market, including during festive occasions like Tobaski and Koriteh.
This new development in our fisheries sub-sector will greatly enhance the marketing of fish within and outside the Kanifing Municipality.
Meanwhile, while we appreciate this giant effort by the KMC and the Ministry of Fisheries, we would also like to remind them of the plight of the former occupants of Tipper Garage.
It is the KMC's responsibility to provide a toilet facility, water and other necessary amenities at the new site for the welfare of the site users; and the earlier this is done the better for the users of the new site.
We also commend the African Development Bank for funding the project, which is expected to be completed in 13 months, beginning from this October.
“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded”