A US$1.7 million fisheries project in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County under the auspices of the West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP) construction works have begun to move at a fast pace.
A top official of the WARFP-Liberia says the fisheries project is being funded by the World Bank in direct response to improving the socioeconomic conditions of fishermen and women in the country.
WARFP Liberia’s Project Coordinator Mr. Yevewuo Subah Friday told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the Robertsport fisheries project, when completed, would pave the way for other projects in other fishing communities around Liberia.
Coordinator Subah also told the Daily Observer that additional funds have been secured from the World Bank intended for the overall completion of critically needed fishing facilities in Robertsport.
He also disclosed that there were plans in the making for the construction of additional fishing landing sites in the coastal cities of Buchanan, Greenville, River Cess and Barclayville.
In a three hour tour of the WARFP-Liberia’s Fisheries Landing Site project in Robertsport Friday, several of the buildings intended for preservation and other critical needs were nearing completion.
During the tour of the project site in Robertsport City on Friday, it was observed that Phoenicians, a Lebanese construction company, had workers engaged in extensive construction works of various kinds.
What was visibly observed was that TAP International, a Chinese company, had construction workers involved in extensive works making sure that the project, in spite of the extensive delays, would be completed according to schedule.
Also during the tour of the fishing landing site, it was observed that most of the facilities were completed and ready for use by the fishermen and women, despite of the protracted delays.
While at the port city of, separate interviews were conducted with some fishermen and women on their impressions about fisheries landing site.
Fisherman Martin Momo Fahnbulleh, 44, told the Daily Observer that WARFP Liberia project construction work has taken too long and their challenges continue to hamper their progress.
“I want to appeal to World Bank to quickly give out the additional money for the completion of our fishing landing in Robertsport City and it actually help to improve our lives,” Fisherman Fahnbulleh pleaded.
He also narrated that during the course of the Rainy Season, fishermen and women endure too many hardships due to poor preservation facilities and the processes involved in making the fish dry and ready for sale to customers.
“Our preservation facilities such as dryers are all old-fashioned materials that need total change to our modern-day machines in our fishing,” the fisherman asserted.
Fisherwoman Betty B. Massaquoi, 38, told the Daily Observer that most of the fish caught during the day or week get rotten due to the poor or substandard facilities in Robertsport City.
Madam Massaquoi pointed out that the construction of the fisheries landing site in Robertsport would greatly enhance the financial progress of the fishing communities in Grand Cape Mount County.
“I can assure now that the WARFP Liberia’s project with financial support from the World Bank and our government would see the full potentials of our fishermen and women in our county,” Madam Massaquoi admitted.
In its reaction to the extended progress made by the contractors, Charles Simpson, head of the Collaborative Management Associations (CMA), said the CMA is now watching with eagle eyes and ears on the project’s progress.
On a claim about substandard materials being used by the contractors, Chairperson Simpson said, a fast change or measure has been instituted by the WARFP Liberia officials and the contractors.
“I’m really glad with the steps taken by WARFP Liberia officials with regards to substandard materials that were initially used on our fishing buildings,” Chairman Simpson stressed.
He however underscored the need for the inclusion of the CMA’s leadership in critical decisions that have to do with fishermen and women in the various fishing communities in Liberia.
“We hope our suggestion will be given some serious considerations in the near future on all major fishing issues in our country,” Chairman Simpson concluded.