Over 300 women in three coastal regions have benefitted from an intensive business training under the ‘Far Ban Bo’ project to improve their livelihood.
The communities are Abanzde and Anomabo in Central Region; Shama and Dixcove in Western Region; Whuti, Dzelukope, Abutiakope, Kedzekope and Anloga in Volta Region.
The Far Ban Bo project seeks to empower fishers economically in the wake of Ghana’s dwindling fish stock.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated the plight of communities within the country’s coastal regions, hence giving them other forms of training became necessary for the Far Ban Bo project.
Last year, the project engaged a consultant to interact with fishing communities to find out other alternative businesses they would be interested in doing aside their fishing trade.
Based on what they shared, the project in October this year began the training in these communities based on their interest.
The training covers skills development such as soap, pastry and bead making; tie and dye and batik making; production of coconut oil, shower gel, hair cream among others.
Shine Gavor-Sangmor is from the Dzelukope community in the Keta Municipality and was one of the participants.
“Soap is everyday use; I will practise what I have learnt here and produce for domestic use; she explained. “I learnt the preparation of shower gel, bar soap and liquid soap,” she added.
Unlike Shine Gavor-Sangmor, Olivia Tornyi chose pastry making and learnt cake, bread making among other things.
“I am going to try the meat pie and bread I have learnt during this training, Olivia Tornyi said. “Even if I am unable to commercialise it, I will prepare some of these pastries at home for occasions,” she added.
Ghana’s fisheries sector has seen a downward trend over the past years. Experts in the sector have warned stakeholders to address issues of Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing; what is popularly known as IUU fishing to restore the fish stock.
It is therefore not uncommon to hear fishers bemoan the huge effort they put in their fishing expedition just to come back with nothing. The alternative training therefore comes as a relief to most of these fishing communities.
Rita Dovlo is the Secretary for National Fish Processors and Traders Association in Whuti in the Anloga District. She believes the training will offer the women in the community some alternative business ideas.
“We depend on only one occupation here so the various things we have learnt over the past three days will help us begin something new in addition to our usual fishing and processing trade,” Rita assured.
Far Ban Bo is a sustainable fisheries project implemented by Care International, Friends of the Nation and Oxfam with support from the European Union (EU).