Nana Kofi Bentsil, Chief Fisherman of Axim has appealed to the government to introduce a special educational scholarship that would cater for the needs of the children of fisher-folks.
He said the current scholarship given out by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) had pegged a higher aggregate that was “beyond the attainment of a fisherman or fishmonger’s child”.“Most of us did not go to school and our children also attend public schools and we do not have the ability to teach them or send them to the big schools that teach better with the needed teaching aids”, Nana Bentsil told journalists who visited the Axim fishing community to interact with the fisher folks to find out their challenges and issues affecting fishing in the area.
Nana Bentsil said that special scholarship should not just look at a single-digit aggregates, but what could accommodate a pass grade or any good aggregate of the children of fisher folks to enable them to further their education to the Senior High School level and beyond. The interactions formed part of a three-day educational tour to selected Fish Landing Beaches in four Coastal Regions; namely, Western, Central, Volta and Greater Accra Regions by journalists.
It was under a capacity building programme for journalists in fisheries and environmental issues to ensure effective reportage, and organised by the Centre for Coastal Management of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) under a USAID/UCC Fisheries and Coastal Management Capacity Building.
Commenting further on fishing issues affecting the Axim community, Nana Bentsil said sanitation, comprising of dirty beaches, as well as lack of adequate waste collectors were some of the issues affecting them. He urged the District Assembly to lead the efforts at sanitising the beaches and the community, while appealing to the community members to desist from littering around.
He also said the distribution of subsidised premix fuel to fishermen continued to be politicised and that needed to be done away with since fishing goes beyond politics. Nana Bentsil said their sea defense walls had broken down and needed urgent re-construction to save the community from being washed away. He said: “Axim was earmarked for a fishing harbor during Kufuor’s time but it has never come on”.