The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), located in London in the United Kingdom, has presented 150 life jackets to help shore up safety promotion at sea in the artisanal fishing sector.
The life jackets, funded by the ITF’s Union Building Project, were presented to the Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana (CaFGOAG), an affiliate of the National Union of Teamsters and General Workers (NUTEG of GFL), for onward distribution to selected artisanal fishers across all the coastal regions of Ghana.
Mr Cedric Depollier, the Union Building Project Manager, was accompanied by Mr Malick Diop, the Coordinator of the ITF/LO Norway West Africa Fisheries Organisation Project (WAFOP), who commended NUTEG and CaFGOAG for their efforts at promoting safety at sea among artisanal fishermen.
Mr Depollier urged fishermen not to accept accidents at sea as the norm, but rather to ensure that adequate structures and measures were put in place to protect the lives of fishermen and their property.
treated the leadership of NUTEG to give attention to insurance and social security for artisanal fishermen to ensure their future.
He said apart from the presentation, the meeting between them was important as it brought the Union Building Project closer to the stakeholders through NUTEG and CaFGOAG.
The project was to support solutions to the harsh reality of artisanal fishermen working hard in difficult conditions, which included risking their lives to earn a living and support their communities.
Mr Diop also charged NUTEG and CaFGOAG to help sensitise fishers to understand the content of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention (C118) and work towards its ratification.
Mr Desmond Sackey, the General Secretary of NUTEG, expressed appreciation to the ITF for honouring their request and gave the assurance that his office would monitor to ensure that the life jackets were put into good use.
Nana Kweigyah, the National President of CaFGOAG, who received the life jackets on b
ehalf of the fishermen, thanked NUTEG, ITF, and their partners for supporting the work of artisanal fishermen.
The donation would deepen awareness on safety at sea among artisanal fishermen and support ongoing efforts to protect the lives of fishermen in the course of their work, he said.
He gave the assurance that the items would be used for their intended purses and appealed to ITF and its partners for more safety gear, capacity-building training programmes and awareness creation to support fishers, which constitute a huge population in Ghana.
He reiterated CaFGOAG’s call for a national dialogue on safety at sea in artisanal fisheries, as well as being an integral part of fisheries management as enshrined in the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication.
Source: Ghana News Agency