Fisher folk in the Ketu South Constituency of the Volta Region, have threatened to vote out the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), come November 7 2016, if the party fails to fulfill it’s numerous promises to improve their livelihood.
The region, which is the NDC’s stronghold, has a good number of its inhabitants in the fishing sector. But the residents say their livelihood is being threatened by several factors, whiles the government only appears to be making promises without fulfilling them. In recent times, both the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the NDC led by President John Mahama, have been at each others throat over their development records in the region. President Mahama in proving the NDC’s stronghold on the region, said it was now the party’s ‘IMF’ and not just ‘World Bank’.
But with the challenges facing the fishing industry across all coastal areas of the country ranging from high cost of fishing materials, depleting fish stock, inadequate storage facilities and illegal fishing methods among others, it appears the NDC could pay dearly for it this November, if the threat by the disappointed fisherman in that region is to be taken seriously.
The general concerns expressed by the fisher folk were echoed by one Delali Tetevi, a fisherman from the Ketu South District, who said it was in the interest of government to improve the livelihood of the fisher folk.
“When we have more catches, the laborers at the beach will get their share, the fishmongers will buy the fish then it goes on and on. The district assembly will also get their share of the revenue at the market side. If the catches are reducing then it is going against the government; that is why we are calling on government to come to our aid.”
He outlined some of the issues government has to deal with saying, “Government has to deal with the availability of premix fuel, government has to deal with the pair trolling. Government has to deal with night fishing… therefore we are calling on government to do as much as possible so we can have the catch and be able to take good care of our families.”
Mr. Tetevi warned that if their concerns are not met, then there would be no motivation to vote for a party that will not meet their needs.
“If you are voting for a party which is supposed to do what you want and you are not getting, the only thing you can do is to advice yourself when the time comes… we don’t just go and stand in the scorching sun and vote for a party that will not listen to our needs.”
Many of the fisher folk who spoke to Citi News’ King Norbert Akpablie, expressed similar sentiments saying promises made over the years including the construction of a fishing Harbour have all not been fulfilled.