Traditional leaders and members of the inland fishing and aquaculture fraternity from the Lower Volta basin have proposed the establishment of an authority to address the challenges in the area.
The groups indicated at a meeting with former President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra last Tuesday, that the establishment of the authority was necessary as the Lower Volta communities have continually encountered serious unresolved challenges since the construction of the Akosombo dam decades ago.
The former president who hosted the delegation drawn from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Alliance and its associates as well as chiefs, queen mothers, and cadres from the affected communities, supported the proposal and expressed the hope that government will give it due consideration.
Some members of the delegation informed the former President about how they had to migrate further up North because of dire economic circumstances and one lady punctuated this point with her personal story of tragically losing her father in the Konkomba conflict. Many lamented how they had to part with a substantial amount of their catch to local chiefs in those areas, and faced harassment by the locals in and around those areas.
Photo: President Rawlings in a group photo with the delegation
President Rawlings took the opportunity to encourage the delegation to embrace the cultivation of the black shrimp, pointing out that they have been found to feed on bilharzia-causing larvae. The former president was emphatic that the cultivation will go a long way to protect the health of the lower basin communities.
The delegation presented to the former President, a study report on how to develop small-scale commercial aquaculture in the Lower Volta basin. They sought his support to help transmit the report’s findings to the government, development partners and other national and international stakeholders.
Former President Rawlings assured the delegation that their concerns will be passed on to the appropriate ministry, with the hope that when they reach out to the ministry they are fully represented by delegates stretching from Akuse to Ada.
The delegation, which was led by Simon Ogah, National Coordinator of the Inland Culture Fisheries Association of Ghana, included Togbe Akliku Ahorney II of Mafi Dadoboe, Togbe Azagba III of Mepe, Mama Gbemu I of Mafi Tove, Mama Aflo-Vuiede II of Mafi Aflokope and Mamaga Asieku IV of Battor.