NewsEast & Horn AfricaTraining women to strengthen fishing communities in Somalia


Posted on Friday, 27 October 2017 17:05

Training women to strengthen fishing communities in Somalia

By Reuters

  In this photo taken March 7, 2017, fishermen push their boats into the Indian Ocean in the village of Eyl, in Somalia's semi-autonomous northeastern state of Puntland. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP/SIPAMore than 70 women are training under a programme implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Puntland State government, in a bid to help develop the fish sector in Somalia.


Beneficiaries are identified within disadvantaged communities and trained in processing and marketing of dried fish, thus adding value to this product.

This is taking place in Ajuuran B, a camp for internally displaced people in Bossaso, the commercial capital of Puntland in north-east Somalia, a port town that has become a magnet for migrant workers and refugees from all corners of the Horn of Africa country.


For most of these women, Bossaso became home after they fled conflict in Somalia.


Under the programme, the FAO has distributed eqquipment that include packaging materials, tables, drying racks, knives and cutting boards to facilitate the processing of the fish.


The team begins work early in the morning, when fresh fish is delivered from the landing site in Bossaso, and is stored in ice coolers.


The women clean the fish and slice off fillets, which are then laid out on racks to dry in the sun.

Fisheries hold a great potential

Another team oversees the drying process and fends off cats and other animals.


It takes about 14 to 16 hours for the fillets to dry before they are packed and sealed.

The dried fish is then sold in supermarket outlets around Bossaso under the brand 'Kalluun Qalajisan', meaning dried fish.


"I have acquired knowledge and skills that I previously lacked. I hope it will also transform my life and my family. Previously, I would bring fish from the landing site, clean, cut and cook and would sell in the market. Today, I clean our workstation and the fish, and the work is less tedious than what I used to do before," said one trainee, Canab Mumin Farax.


"Now I can say that I have gotten a job from the training. I would also like to share with other people the skills I'll have acquired from the training," added another trainee, Halima Mohamed Nur.


Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa, measuring over 3,000 kilometres.

For that reason, fisheries hold a great potential for the country, which can help improve livelihoods for hundreds of residents.


Although the Gulf of Aden port town of Bossaso has a vibrant fishing sector, the many challenges fishermen face there make it difficult to develop this industry into a major contributor to the economy.


Plans are in place to work with a boat-building company in Bossaso to design and build modern, fuel-efficient fibreglass boats that will strengthen the capacity of local fishermen.


The dried fish products are also sold in inland districts such as Carmo, Qardho and Ufeyn, and even in neighbouring countries such as Kenya.


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