The Member of Parliament for the Odododiodoo constituency, Hon. Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye is asking the government to offer some compensation for fisherfolk following the uncommon incident of dead fish washed ashore last Friday in Accra and Sunday in Axim in the Western Region.
A lot of dead fish were washed ashore on April 2, 2021, at the Osu Castle beach.
A number of dolphins were also washed ashore in the Western Region on April 4, 2021. Authorities estimate that about 120 dolphins were affected.
No link has been drawn between the two events but fisherfolk along the coast in the Greater Accra Region have been urged to stay at home as investigations are being conducted to ascertain the cause of the incident.
Addressing the media, the lawmaker on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, said the fishermen ought to be given some relief packages due to the hardship they are going through as a result of the advice.
“You can’t just say that people should stop going for fishing without appropriate compensation. The fishermen have been staying home for about a week, the fishmongers and sellers are in the house and so just as we did for farmers who were in the house as a result of fall armyworms, I believe the fishermen, fishmongers, and the rest also deserve some compensation. What is good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said.
The fall armyworm insect pest which originated from the United State and South America was first reported in Sao Tome in 2013. Fall Armyworm (FAW) is a chronic pest in Eastern and Southern Africa and can cause severe damage to grass and forage crops. The initial reports on the pest in Ghana were received in April 2016 and confirmed in November 2016.
By 2018, the Ghanaian Government had released a sum of GHS 15,857,280.00 to carry out a number of activities including training of staff for early detection, collaboration and co-ordination, sensitization, developing and printing of fact sheets, surveillance at community and national levels, monitoring of control and management activities and the procurement of a strategic stock of insecticides, among others.
According to Hon. Vanderpuye, some constituents who source their fish from outside Accra are also having challenges selling them because the incident has drastically reduced patronage of fish.
“Some have come to me because they were expecting to sell some fish to get money to buy trunks and other items for their children going to secondary school. Even those who buy [fish] from outside Accra for sale, people are not confident in buying their fish so they are being affected…Some compensation should be given to them to at least alleviate their suffering,” he indicated.
Hon. Vanderpuye also asked the government to dispatch health personnel to the coastal areas where the incident took place to conduct medical examinations rather than asking persons who may have consumed some of the fish to avail themselves.
Media reports indicate that most of the fishmongers who bought the fishes from fishermen say they are willing to give them out to the authorities if they would be compensated for their losses. Some people who had eaten the fishes at Osu said they will go to the hospital for medical checkup only if Government would pay the bills.
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