Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

The frailty of fishing communities caught by Covid.

Covid continues to severely income and welfare of fishing communities in countries that have little in the way of shore based resources - you can help them.

 



Hi, my name is Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood

I am fundraising to provide:

  • Solar-powered dual refrigerators with AC-DC systems for women fish traders in Bonny Island, Rivers State Nigeria.
  • Cash donations to the BONNY INDIGENIOUS FISHERMEN COOPERATIVE UNION to support their members - women fishers, processors and sellers are part of this union. 
  • Extra funds raised will be donated to a women cooperative union in Cote d'Ivoire. 

Women play a crucial role in artisanal fishing in Nigeria. 



However, their contributions to the sector are widely un(der)paid, undervalued and largely invisible. This affects them in many ways – for instance, they have less access to capital and other resources. They also don’t have access to the required processing and storage facilities to avoid fish loss through spoilage.

The COVID-19 restrictions made it harder for fisherfolks, especially women in Bonny Island, in Rivers State Nigeria, to access, store and sell fish stocks.

  • The lockdown also coincided with an incident whereby scores of dead fish washed ashore on the Island and other communities across the Niger Delta. Fishers could not fish under those circumstances since they did not know the reason for that phenomenon. 
  • With the easing of the lockdown and very limited funds to trade with, women were pressured to buy fish they could not sell to avoid losing the supplier. 
  • They also sell at low prices to reduce wastage and loss of capital due to a lack of storage facilities such as chamber freezers or cold rooms.



Eja-ice , the company we are collaborating with, is a solar-powered refrigeration and cold chain service company based in Nigeria. The business offers 218 litre solar-powered DC freezers with 3 years of maintenance support. For this project, Eja-Ice will train youths in the benefiting community on the installation and maintenance of the freezers and grant them access to lead engineers who can offer advice and support as required. This will contribute to local knowledge in the community.

You can watch the video below to see how this is helping women improve their fishing business in Lagos, Nigeria:

 

 


 The solar-powered refrigerator will not only reduce food waste for the benefiting women:

It will also increase their earnings, because they will not need to sell below cost and importantly, The freezer will also contribute to global efforts to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change.