According to fishermen at Tem Canoe Beach, the lack of premix fuel for the past six months has resulted to an increase in youth unemployment in Tema Newtown.
During a visit, the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office saw that the canoe beach was much less crowded than it typically is on a fishing day because so many young men were there loitering and talking the day away.
A few canoes were also docked since their owners were unable to obtain the premix fuel required to power the sea.
Nii Adjeirteh Quaye, the Vice President of the Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana (CaFGOAG), stating the impact of the unavailability of premix on fishing activities said the youth who depended directly and indirectly on fishing were currently unemployed.
Nii Quaye explained that currently out of the over 1,000 canoes operating from the canoe beach, only about 300 of them engage in fishing activities due to the inability of the state to make the premix fuel available at the various landing beaches.
He said one canoe, apart from directly employing between 15 and 20 people for its fishing activities, also provided auxiliary jobs to the youth and women who respectively help in removing the fish and selling them.
According to him, currently, canoe owners have to depend on mixing petrol with engine oil to power their outboard motors adding that due to the cost involved several canoes had to stop operations.
He disclosed that he has to buy four drums of petrol and engine oil at a cost of GH¢ 3,200 per drum to enable him to continue in business a situation he said would compel him to pass on the cost to the consumer.
He lamented that due to the hardship and high unemployment in the community, some of the youth have resorted to thievery and snatching of people’s phones especially on the industrial area road in the evenings to make ends meet.
Nii Ashitey Odametey, Tema Wudum Chief Fisherman, corroborated the unemployment issue saying fisher fishmongersers, and the youth in Tema Newtown were facing serious financial hardship due to supply challenges of the premix fuel.
Nii Odametey called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to supply the fuel to the landing beaches stressing that their failure to honour their promises to supply it was adversely affecting their survival.