Youth Ministry Rolls Out Youth in Fisheries Project to Empower Coastal Communities

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By Foday Moriba Conteh

The Ministry of Youth Affairs in Sierra Leone has taken a significant step forward in an initiative aimed at enhancing coastal risk reduction and combating drug abuse among youth in coastal communities,. Through the establishment of fishing youth cooperatives and the construction of 50 new boats, the project is set to make a lasting impact on the lives of young people in seven coastal districts.

Speaking about the project, Mohamed Orman Bangura, the Minister of Youth Affairs, emphasized the importance of creating alternative livelihood opportunities for the youth. “Our goal is to empower young people to become self-reliant and productive members of society. By engaging them in the fishing industry, we are not only providing them with a source of income but also reducing their vulnerability to coastal risks and the temptation of substance abuse.”

James Sandi, the Project Manager for the Youth in Fisheries Project at the Ministry, highlighted the community-driven approach to the construction of the boats. “We believe in the power of community involvement. By allowing the communities to select beneficiaries and supervise the construction of the boats, we are fostering a sense of ownership and ensuring the sustainability of the project in the long run.”

Salifu Kamara, the National Master Fisherman, commended the initiative for its comprehensive support to the beneficiaries. “Each boat comes fully equipped with essential fishing gear, including fishing nets, a 40HP outboard machine, and life jackets. This not only sets the youth up for success in their fishing activities but also prioritizes their safety on the water.”

The relevance of the project extends beyond economic empowerment. By engaging young people in a meaningful and productive activity such as fishing, the project is promoting social cohesion and community development. It is also addressing the root causes of drug and substance abuse by providing viable alternatives and instilling a sense of purpose among the youth.

Furthermore, the project’s emphasis on coastal risk reduction is crucial in a region prone to natural disasters and environmental challenges. By equipping the youth with the necessary tools and skills for sustainable fishing practices, the project is contributing to the resilience of coastal communities in the face of climate change and other threats.

Overall, the Youth in Fisheries Project is a shining example of government-led initiatives that prioritize the well-being and future prospects of young people. With strong leadership, community engagement, and a clear focus on empowerment, the project is poised to make a lasting impact on the lives of youth in Sierra Leone’s coastal communities.



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