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Upgrade fish processing centres-Tombo Headman urges

27,Jan 2016
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The community head of Tombo, Mohamed Mansaray is calling on Government and development partners to upgrade the mode of fish processing in Tombo and other fishing communities around the country.
Speaking to Awoko, Mohamed Mansaray explained the many constraints fish traders are faced with in preserving fish products, despite the input by Government with support from the World Bank to establish two fish processing centres in the community.
He said in this 21st Century workers at the two fish centres use wood to smoke fish, which is unacceptable as a result of the present climate change taking place around the globe.
Mr Mansaray noted that the cutting down of trees to use as fuel wood is greatly affecting Africa, and with the huge amount of wood needed to process raw fish, Sierra Leone is at high risk as reported among three countries to face climate disaster, if urgent measures are not taken to remedy the situation.

The community head explained that the fish centre asks for Le10,000 per crate to smoke raw fish and the oven takes about eight trays of fish, which uses quite an amount of wood to dry, which takes almost an hour, and as a result the high heat from the wood fire weakens the fish trays used to smoke the fish, putting an additional cost on the management committee to be replacing fish trays.
He called on government through the fisheries ministry to attract more support to transform fish processing centres from wood to gas or electric smoking, which will be more cost effective, clean, easy to use and environment friendly.
Mr Mansaray also furthered that using wood to process fish is exposing them to health hazards, and if electric or gas is used, it will increase more production of smoked fish, thus reducing loss on fish traders, especially when fishermen come in late or the early hours of the morning.
Apart from improving the environment at fish processing centres, the Tombo community head appealed that a modern cold room be established which will also assist to ease pressure on fish processing centres, and increase quality in process of fish preservation to meet European market

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