It has emerged that there is a shortage of premix fuel in fishing communities along Ghana’s coastal regions for the past three months.
Some fishermen at Ankaful in the Mfantseman District of the Central region are threatening to demonstrate if the Ministry of Fisheries fails to supply them with the product.
At a press conference on Tuesday, November 19, secretary of the Ankaful Premix Committee, Mr Joseph Mensah accused some faceless individuals of diverting the product causing an artificial shortage.
Mr Mensah, who spoke on behalf of the over 1,000 fishermen, said attempts to get the National Premix Committee in Accra on the matter have yielded no results.
He wants government to call persons in charge to order since the development is affecting their livelihoods.
“Prior to the closing season, the Ministry of Fisheries only gave us a barrel of the fuel instead of an initial four. They did same in July and August. It’s been three months now and we are yet to be served. We reported the matter to the Premix Committee and they are yet to respond to our call. This is very frustrating and it is taking a toll on our business and we cannot take care of our kids”, Mr Mensah said at a charged press conference.
At the time of leaving the beach, there were over 500 canoes sitting idle with a number of frustrated fishermen who disclosed their struggle to get premix fuel for fishing.
“This is very unfortunate. I have been here for more than a week and I haven’t gone to sea. We are going through a lot and it is very sad”, one of the fishermen told DailymailGh.com in the Fante language.
Some fish mongers who are also feeling the pinch narrated their frustrations to reporters.
Being in the business since childhood, 45-year-old Auntie Araba said: “We are suffering the fuel shortage is affecting us as well. Even if the fuel arrives it is giving to known faces. We need to take care of our kids and so we are pleading with government to come to our aid”.
Fishermen along Ghana’s coasts have been complaining about the scarcity of premix fuel, but the product was found to be readily available on the black market on a ‘connection basis’.
In January 2017, at least 200 cases of premix fuel diversions were cited by the National Petroleum Authority.
In all those instances, the product was documented to be sent outside the Greater Accra region, but ended up within the region, according to information obtained by the NPA’s BRV Tracking System and Returns.
Experts and critics say enough has not been done to manage the situation citing political underpinnings.
By:Douglas Amponsah, Daily Mail GH