By Muhammed L Bojang
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, has on Wednesday, handed over $400, 000 (D18 Million) fish feed mill to Kombo East Youth Development Alliance (KEYDA) at Kuloro Village in the Kombo East District, West Coast Region.
Speaking at the event, Ms Shibu Rampedi, FAO Representative highlighted the need to work with the local communities to enhance support of the young people especially Aquaculture. She said there is only two of this project in the country, Kuloro and Jahally in CRR.
“This has given us an opportunity to work with the youth in the rural communities and it will enhance the capacity of youth and women, employment in aquaculture. This project is the start of bigger work in Kombo East,” Ms Shibu Rampedi said.
According to the FAO Rep, the facility would not only create opportunities and employment but also support the fishing industry. She also put emphasis on the strategies in place for the sustainability and the opportunities for young people through this project.
Omar Bah, the outgoing Board Chairman of KEYDA has commended the timely establishment of the project initiative. He encouraged the young people of Kombo East to make the best use of the project and the opportunities it has to offer.
“This project is a sample in West Africa as is a pilot project on the FAO agenda in their quest for sustainable food security in the region. This project has covered all the thirty-three 33 villages of Kombo East and it will not only be producing food for the fishes but also those in the poultry farming can get there food supply here. This project will also helps in fine tuning the mindset of many young who risks their lives to get to Europe through backway,” Mr Omar Bah said.
In his closing remarks, Mr Bah urged the FAO to continue supporting this project and also the need for ease mobility in facilitating the project.
Mr James Gomez, the Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources challenge the young people to take up the responsibilities of the National Development Plan: “I have work with the young people for 27 years of my life but the challenges always is a life changing experience. As John F. Kennedy said “Dont ask what my country can do for me but what can I do for my country.”
Minister Gomez added that the youth of the country must stand up to make a difference, noting gone are the days to look for jobs that does not exist but must try to create employment.
Meanwhile, Lamin Sanneh, the Governor of West Coast Region and Lamin Conta, NAM for Kombo East were both present at the event.