Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA), Ghana Chapter, is collaborating with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to sensitise women along the water bodies on the need to protect them.
Therefore, at this year’s World Ocean Day, the WIMA, in collaboration with the sector ministry, was a guest at the Akwamu Traditional Area, not only to carry out education on the life the water bodies provide to the state, but provide life jackets to the women in the communities at the river banks, and honour Nana Afrakoma, Queenmother of the Akwamu Traditional Area, on her 55th Anniversary on the throne.
Francis Kingsley Ato Codjo, Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, mentioned the benefits the marine sector brings to the nation, including oil and gas, food and employment.
In view of this, the ocean plays a crucial role in contributing to poverty reduction.
But, he expressed worry that the ocean, which provides about 66 percent of Ghana’s total fish production, is constantly threatened and degraded with hazardous human practices such as illegal fishing practices.
“Ghana is currently ranked 153rd among 221 countries on the Globe Health Index, and this is an issue of grave concern, especially when our ocean has become a dumping site for all sort of toxic waste and plastics.
“Since the ocean is a major of source of livelihood for our women, too, we want to motivate them to contribute towards the conservation of the water bodies, and be directly involved in decision-making, with regards to management of our resources.
“It is, therefore, important that opportunities are presented to women too to deliberate on issues that affect them, because the sustainable development goals cannot be achieved with only a percentage of the population,” Mr Codjo explained.
He, on that note, lauded WIMA Ghana for continuing to celebrate the achievements of women in maritime and raise the awareness of gender equality.
As ocean ambassadors, the Deputy Minister implored women to educate Ghanaians against polluting the ocean and keep the beaches and banks of the ocean and rivers hygienic.
Lastly, he charged the women to hype the education on healthy fishing practices.
Mrs Alice Torkonoo, Vice President of WIMA Ghana, on her part, said WIMA Ghana was glad it was able to celebrate the World Ocean Day with women along the Volta Lake, to sensitise them on the need for blue economy.
WIMA Ghana, she said, would continue to bring together the expertise of women in the maritime industry to maximise their profession and contributing their quota for the development of women in the sector.