The European Union and its implementing partner FAO handed over a total of 9 refrigerated trucks as well as 6 solar powered ice machines as part of the project “No Piracy: Alternatives for Youth Living in Coastal Communities of Puntland, Galmudug and Mogadishu”.
“Revitalizing the blue economy is a central component of the EU’s work in Somalia”, said the EU Ambassador to Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga. “Helping modernize and improve the fisheries sector will not only better the livelihood opportunities of young people and women, it will also help reduce illegal activities such as piracy. Peace and stability, a sense of compromise among leaders, is a prerequisite for this assistance to be successful”.
“Somalia has a vast ocean which is underexploited with the potential to greatly improve the lives and livelihoods of Somali’s citizens and the prosperity of the nation as a whole”, said the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Abdilahi Bidhan Warsame. “Somali as a coastal nation stands to gain the most from a robust fisheries sector in order to maintain sustainable economic development”
“The vehicles will meet the demand in remote fishing areas and will create a new opportunity for the fish to be brought to the local markets,” said Abdirashid Mohamed, Director General of the Galmudug Ministry of Fisheries. “They will also contribute to good fish production, which was previously low because of the lack of transportation vehicles. Landlocked cities will also have access to fresh, low-cost fish,” he added.
“The refrigerated trucks will provide immediate, sustainable mobile fish storage and delivery capacities that will contribute to creating jobs for youth in Somalia’s Indian Ocean coastal communities by strengthening the fisheries value chain”, underlined Etienne Peterschmitt, the FAO Representative for Somalia.
The project, that started in 2016, is of the amount of €5.3 million and is implemented by FAO Somalia together with local partners such as the Federal and State Ministries of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Adi Associates, City University (Mogadishu), DEH Relief Somalia, Help Leads to Hope (HLH), One Earth Foundation, and Puntland Livestock Professional Association (PULPA).
At nearly 3 thousand kilometers, Somalia has the longest coastline in mainland Africa with a huge potential for economic and job opportunities. Somalia’s fisheries sector is currently estimated to account for only about one percent of Somalia’s Gross Domestic Product.
The “No Piracy: Alternatives for Youth Living in Coastal Communities” project contributes to the creation of sustainable skilled employment among the youth living in coastal communities by increasing access to currently untapped marine fisheries resources through a number of activities.
So far, a total of 27 new fishing vessels – built in Somalia to international standards with improved safety, fuel efficiency and fish storage facilities – have been provided and over 200 fishermen have received mentoring and training support in a range of fishing skills from the Lead Fishermen, mainly representatives of fishing co-operatives. Also benefiting from the project are women from female households who have received material support and training to add value to their production.
The provided vehicles will be operated under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Somali fishing co-operatives or fishing companies. They will support the project’s objectives in creating income generating opportunities by allowing communities to bring their fresh fish safely to the market. This activity is key for creating job opportunities for youths that are at risk of being recruited into piracy.