The distribution of these items is part of FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) “Support the sustainable products and marketing of fish and vegetables products for Urban/Peri-urban women”, which is targeting mostly women fish traders who use coolers, refrigerators or insulated boxes to reduce fish spoilage.
Abdoulie B. Jallow, Fisheries Officer, who also doubles as the TCP focal point, said that the TCP project is designed to support women in the urban and peri-urban areas in handling fish and fisheries products.
The TCP, he stressed, has three components which includes: the training of women on fish handling, provision of fish handling equipment, (250 cooler, 152 tarpaulins, 152 pair of gloves, 152 knives,152 aprons and 152 buckets) and the construction of the FAO Thiaroye Technology (FTT) in Banjul.
The objectives of the project, he stated is to increase and improve provision of goods and services from fisheries in a sustainable manner and strengthen fisheries value chains for income generation and employment creation.
In addition, Mr. Jallow noted that the TCP is also aimed at strengthening the capacity of fish processors and traders especially women, through the production of high-quality fish products using the newly introduced FTT and cold chain equipment to improve food security and income opportunities for the women fish smokers.
Babou Cham, president of Banjul Beach Landing Site Association, expressed gratitude to the donors, saying gestures like this should be encouraged to help local fish vendors especially women fishmongers.
He further appealed to stakeholders to assist the landing site with sanitary facilities because the existing ones are not in good shape.
Bintou Janneh, fish vendor at Banjul Fish market, dwelled on the importance of the donated items, saying tarpaulins would prevent fish from the touching the ground after they have been harvested from the sea.
Modou Cham, manager at Bakoteh Fish Market, described the intervention as ‘timely and important’, stating that the materials donated would really enhance the women in the fishing industry.
According to him, among the things affecting the fish market is the unavailability of ice and storage facilities in the center, thus appealing to stakeholders to help in addressing the situation.
Fatou Cham, a beneficiary at Wassu, CRR, also acknowledged the significance of the received items.
She therefore urged the recipients to make judicious and effective use of the items donated.