-Gives out Standard “A” Life Jackets to fishermen
New Kru Town, Bushord Island: Liberia’s President George Weah has emphasized, that the Safety of Liberian Fishermen and Women at Sea, is Paramount.
His Excellency George Weah, on Friday, 20 January 2022, launched the distribution of free Standard “A” Life Jackets to fishermen and fisherwomen throughout Liberia and the endeavor was titled “Safety At Sea” program. In a bid to fulfill his dream of making Liberians safe also at sea, President Weah, give over twelve thousand (12,000) free standard-life jackets to fishermen and fisherwomen.
Correspondingly, the Standard-A Life Jackets were distributed, to fisher folks by the government of Liberia, through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NAFAA).
Launching the initiative in the Borough of New Kru Town, located on Bushord Island, President Weah, said fishing at sea is one of the riskiest jobs anywhere in the world which makes it an important initiative by his government, to ensure the safety of Liberian fishermen and women at sea remains paramount. “As a Government, we have a responsibility and obligation to protect their lives and ensure that these families have a viable and sustainable livelihood. The fishing industry in Liberia is a critical sector not just to our economic growth as a nation, but to the welfare of many of our citizens who rely on it to feed themselves and support their families”, he articulated.
The Liberian Chief Executive also frowned on the situation of climate change, which sometimes leads to the scarcity of fish, Liberian artisanal fishers, now have to go further out and stay longer at sea with their dugout canoes that lack navigational tools or safety gears.
“This is unacceptable. I therefore hereby mandate NAFAA, and the Maritime Authority to ensure that all fishermen and women are equipped, with the proper safety instruments”; he furthered. President Weah, however, disclosed that the lunch of the distribution of free Standard “A” Life Jackets to fishermen and women, throughout Liberia titled the “Safety At Sea” program” marks the dawn of ensuring that Liberia joins other countries in ensuring that our fishermen and women are protected.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on our fishermen and women to use this safety equipment for the intended purpose and to do so with care. You are very important to us and we want to make sure that as you carry out this important task for society, you do so with the utmost safety exclaimed the President.
At the same time, President Weah has complimented NAFAA and all other international partners, who continued to support the Fishery sector and increase its potential to contribute to the growth and development of the nation.
Speaking on behalf of her institution NAFAA, Executive Director Emma Glassco, touted President Weah and partners for the initiative which will ensure, the safety of fishermen and women at sea and thereby preserve lives and help sustain families.
According to Director Glassco, over twelve thousand (12,000) safety life jackets were distributed to local fishermen and women across the country.
Madam Glassco disclosed that due to the lack of safety for Liberian fishermen and women, from 2019 to 2022, NAFAA and partners recorded over two hundred deaths at sea with 2019 having the highest number of fishermen and women fatalities.
“NAFAA and our partners since 2019-2022 have recorded over 209 deaths at sea as a result of 606 sea incidents which is due to a lack of safety life jackets, especially for local fishermen and fisherwomen” she disclosed.