As part of efforts to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) with support from the European Union has begun the first of several distributions of assorted hygiene materials to fishing communities in West Point – one of the many coastal communities in Montserrado County.
According to a NaFAA release, the initiative, dubbed “NaFAA/EU COVID-19 Project”, is being supported through the European Union Sectorial Support funding to Liberia. The materials will be distributed in fishing communities situated in Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Margibi Counties.
The items, worth about US$49,000, include NaFAA/EU customized large drums with foot-stand faucets, small rubber buckets with faucets, nose masks, chlora, powder soap, and sanitizers.
NaFAA is also distributing flyers as part of efforts in sensitizing coastal residents about the danger of the Coronavirus in the country.
Speaking during the official launch of the exercise in West Point Tuesday, NaFAA’s Deputy Director-General for Administration, Augustine Monoballah urged fishers and fish mongers in the country to remain more resilient in the fight against COVID-19.
Even though government has taken concrete steps in the containment of the pandemic, evidenced by the recoveries of people affected by the virus, Mr. Monoballah said recent statistics by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, shows COVID-19 is still in the country.
Deputy Director-General Monoballah recalled the support of the European Union to the fisheries sector, naming the EU as a major partner to Liberia’s development drive in many fronts.
The occasion was graced by local government officials, fishermen, fishmongers and residents.
Speaking earlier, the commissioner of the township of West Point, William Wea, lauded the effort of NaFAA for the initiative, describing the intervention as timely.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Nyantee Sleh, president of the Core Management Association (the liaison between NaFAA and the fishing community). Mr. Sleh admonished residents to take ownership of the items given them.
In May 2017, the European Union (EU) issued Liberia a yellow card, identifying it as not being cooperative in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
In recent years, the Government of Liberia (GoL) and the EU have been working behind the scenes in hopes of removing the yellow card.
EU and Liberia have a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA), established the principles, rules and procedures governing the conditions under which Union vessels may engage in fishing activities in the Liberian fishing zone, economic, financial, technical and scientific cooperation in the fisheries sector with a view to promoting sustainable fishing in the Liberian fishing zone and the development of the Liberian fisheries sector.