The Liberia Artisanal Fishery Association (LAFA), a body representing the welfare of the country’s local fishing communities, recently received office equipment valued at several thousand United States dollars during a recent handing-over ceremony of donated materials at the Eden Beach Community near the Hotel Africa community. The occasion brought together several personalities, including fishermen and their dependents, who remained cheerful to the end
The donated materials which included dell computers, conference tables, HP deskjet printers, canon multi-function Photocopier, Wooden bookshelf and wooden drawer, were handed over to the association by the leadership of the Fiamaba Fisheries Development Cooperation (FFDC).
FFDC executive director, Edwin Bonar, said the materials are intended to help strengthen the secretarial arm of the association, “because few months ago, we won a project from the United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to enhance conflict prevention and peace consolidation through increased food security in the fishery sector, but were lacking some of the basic office equipment.”
Therefore, we as the project implementers were given the responsibility to build an aquaponics’ facility and also improve both the human and operational capacities of our local fishing communities, because LAFA’s goal was to empower the members so that they can build a technical secretarial arm,” said Bodah.
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish and other aquatic animals, and hydroponics which is growing plants without soil. It uses these two in a symbiotic combination in which plants are fed through the aquatic animals’ discharge or waste.
FFDC is one of the implementing organizations of the UNMIL project, which intends to enhance conflict prevention and peace consolidation through increased food security in the fishery sector. LAFA, T.Nyantee Sleh, thanked FFDC for the items, promising that they will help reduce the money that LAFA spends on secretarial operations.
“It has been very difficult working as an organization without these materials. Our communication flow has been really hectic, especially when responding to our donors, partners and other associated groups via email,” Bonar said.
Most interactions with them are done through use of the internet and so they have been spending lots of money by visiting internet cafés just to keep in touch with partners.
“But with what we now have through the FFCDC, it is possible that we have a setup up system where we can frequently communicate with our donor partners, and even collect and keep data from our member communities,” said Mr. Sleh