By Naneka Hoffman
President George Mannah Weah has donated two 40-feet containers of life safety jackets to the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) intended for fishing folks across the country.
The containers were offloaded on Friday, March 11, 2022, at the technical office of NaFAA situated at the former Mesurado Pier on the Coast Guard Base on Bushrod Island.
Safety jackets are protective gears that are used to protect and save a drowning person, pending the arrival of a rescue team, while on sea.
Speaking in an interview with reporters during the offloading, Deputy Director for Administration Augustine Banoballah thanked President Weah for the donation.
Mr. Banoballah revealed the gesture from the President is a promise fulfilled and is in response to petition read in Grand Bassa County during the launch of motor fishing engine boats when fishing folks asked President Weah to provide them life jackets for security on sea.
“Today we are pleased to announce that through the effort of President Weah, we have two 40-feet containers filled with life jackets. This is six thousand pieces (6000) of life jackets. They are intended to be distributed to our fishing folks to make sure they are safe while on sea”, he noted.
The NaFAA deputy director indicated that when they took over the fishing sector of Liberia, one of the key concerns of fishermen has been safety at sea because often experience accidents and face difficulty in rescuing victims because of lack of safety or protective gear, mainly life jackets.
Mr. Banoballah said they will distribute the life jackets among fishing folks across the country and ensure that everyone receives just as it was done in the case of the boat engines, adding that NaFAA is working on a policy that would make sure all crew members on board a canoe wear life jacket before going on sea to fishing.
“We have 6,000 pieces of life jackets and in our database [and] we have 5,000 fishermen that are canoe owners. Each canoe has at most 6 crew members and we will make sure all those that are part of the crew have life jackets before going on sea to fishing. We are going to work with the nine fishing counties in Liberia and all others that need them. This is the first consignment and the last one will be here soon”, he noted.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/nafaa-ul-to-start-fisheries-science-degree-program/ Editing by Jonathan Browne