By: Laymah Kollie
Montserrado–January 23,2023-WTVNEWS: Liberian President George Weah through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NAFAA) during the weekend launched and distributed over fifty (50) marine life jackets to fishermen in Montserrado County.
The distribution is expected to affect fishermen in Liberia’s nine (9) coastal counties to include: Sinoe, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Rivercess, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru, Margibi, Maryland and Montserrado respectively.
During the distribution exercise in District 16, Montserrado County, Pres. Weah echoed that the safety of fishermen is paramount to his Administration, noting that his government is joining other countries to ensure that fishermen are saved and protected while searching for their families daily bread. “Your safety is our paramount concern, this government wants you to be saved while looking for your living. This launch is a beginning for Liberia to join other countries to ensure that our fishermen are saved and protected”, Pres. Weah noted.
The Liberian Leader stressed the need for fishermen to make maximum use of the jackets, counting the high risk and low priority given to fishermen during his time of fishing. “When I was a fisherman, we never had this kind of opportunity, we could ride on the canoe whole day without life jackets and nobody came to rescue our lives with materials for protection. These jackets given you, we want you to always wear it before entering the boat or canoe to fishing because the risks of surviving the sea without life jacket is high”, he noted.
Remarking at the occasion, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NAFAA) Director General, Emma M. Glassco lauded the president’s efforts to fishermen in the country. Hon. Glassco then announced Liberia election on the fisheries committee of West Africa which is expected to host high level meetings in Liberia this year. “It’s to you Mr. President to remedy the problems our fishermen are face with; your level of political will to this sector cannot be over emphasized. My President, it’s in this government that you have given fishermen deal recognition and support and have provided them a seat at the table of decision making especially on matters that affect them. Mr. President with the mandate you have given us today we can assure you that NAFAA will carry on the distribution of these life jackets to fishermen in and out of Monrovia.”
Beneficiary Fishermen applauded Pres. Weah for the jackets provided them and promised to use it for the purpose intended. “We can leave in lay sea so when we wear lay life jacket and while fishing we fall in lay sea it will help us to stay there until we get rescue. We telling lay President thank you for lay first step and hoping that he do more for us” fisherman Joseph Toe from RiverCess County.
“This life jacket is helpful for us because many of the fishermen are old and can’t swim but with this life jacket it will help them to remain on shore until they get help. We tell the President thank you and we want him to do more ” Ben Nyanfor Blamo of Grand Bassa County.
It is the first of its kind in two decades for fishermen to receive life jackets in support of their protection and safety while hustling to fend for their families on sea.