Thousands of rural villagers in West Fataleka constituency will soon enjoy improved nutritional and income levels following last Friday's launching of a community fishing project at Sisifiu village.The project which was implemented in the form of a Fishery Aggregate Device (FAD), commonly known as "Fishing Raft" was implemented by MP for Fataleka, Steve Abana through the Taiwanese Government-funded Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF).
Minister Abana and Political Councilor of the Taiwan Embassy, Ben Wang, officially delivered the project which costs SBD$35,000 to villagers last Friday.
Over the years, fishermen in the region have to travel far distances in rough seas, scorching heat and heavy rain to catch fish.
The West Fataleka region, like other areas in the Central West coast of Malaita is isolated from suitable fishing grounds - making fish difficult to catch.
The circumstance has denied many families from consuming fish which gave rise to low levels of nutrition as well as income for basic needs such as school fees and transportation.
Sisifiu Community leader, Rodney Sam hailed the successful implementation of the project - describing it as the first ever major development to happen in the constituency after many years.
"This device will certainly improve our people's dietary composition and levels of income generation,"
"It will also reduce the risk faced by our fishermen who endured difficult fishing trips for many years,"
Mr Sam said people of Sisifiu and other surrounding communities are grateful for Hon Steve Abana and the Taiwanese Government's positive response to their request for the project.
Minister Abana said the fishing device is crucial to attract fish closer to the coastline which will reduce the burden on fishermen traveling risky distances to catch fish.
Among other benefits, improved catches will further enhance trade or the barter system between coastal and highlands villagers who were interdependent on each other for food varieties for many years.
"An improved barter system will certainly build and improve relations between people in the region," Mr. Abana explained.
The success of the project was a result of the close partnership between the Taiwanese Government, the Fataleka Constituency Office, the Malaita Provincial Fisheries Office and Communities in West Fataleka.
SOURCE: Press Release (GCU)