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Navrongo Prisons partners Fisheries Commission to farm fish in Tono, Bornia

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The Ghana Prison Service in the Upper East Region has launched an innovative project in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to venture into aquaculture in parts of the Kassena Nankana Municipality. This groundbreaking initiative aims to improve the livelihoods of inmates and promote food security in the region.

Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show with Mark Smith, the Regional Commander of the Ghana Prison Service, ADP Yakubu Ibrahim, shed light on the motivation behind the project, stating that their duty extends beyond ensuring public safety to rehabilitating and reforming inmates. As part of their mandate, they have been assessing the current state of affairs and exploring ways to empower the prison service with the resources at their disposal.

In 2018, they collaborated with a consultant from the University of C.K. Tedam to develop a proposal aimed at transforming the prison service. Following this, they contacted the Fisheries Commission and presented their proposal for support in their fish farming venture. The Fisheries Commission recognised the enormous potential of the project, and together with the Ghana Prison Service, they forged a partnership that would revolutionise the aquaculture industry in the region.

“Besides ensuring public safety, we are also responsible for rehabilitating and reforming those in custody. As part of our duty, we have been scouting and assessing the current state of affairs. Since the government alone cannot handle it, we, as corrections and prison managers, need to explore what we can do with our resources. In 2018, we collaborated with a consultant from the University of C.K. Tedam and developed a proposal. Subsequently, we contacted the fisheries commission and proposed that they could support us in our fish farming endeavour, which would significantly benefit the service.”

“It is not within the confines of the prisons. We are doing it at Tono. We do cage fishing on the Tono Dam, and we do [same] on the other side, which is Bornia. We currently have officers manning the two different sites because they are a little wide apart,” he explained.

This project has the potential to improve the lives of inmates by providing them with valuable vocational training and equipping them with the necessary skills to engage in profitable ventures upon release. The initiative is also expected to bolster food security in the region by increasing the availability of fish and reducing the reliance on imported fish.

The Ghana Prison Service is optimistic that the partnership will serve as a model for other correctional institutions in the country and beyond. By leveraging their resources and collaborating with other sectors, they believe they can create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

“The inmates and the officers work there in terms of feeding and the maintenance of the pond. Some of the inmates, we also send them there to observe. It is a very good project; highly profitable. How to get the fingerlings and the feed is our major problem now, otherwise, there’s huge potential in terms of marketing. Currently, people are calling us from the Northern Region, the Upper West Region, and across Burkina Faso. If we go to harvest in less than an hour, you cannot even get it. You know, people prefer fish to meat. There’s a huge potential for fish farming in the Upper East Region. It has been helpful to us as an institution in the region.”

“Any time we go there with the inmates, and engage them, you realise that they release the tension in them. When they enter the water and are working, they get something like therapeutic healing. The skill they are acquiring is also good.”

ADP Ibrahim also explained that the skills and training given by the Fisheries Commission benefit not only the inmates but the staff of the service as well. 

The Upper East Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission explained that the partnership with the Ghana Prison Service forms part of the government’s Aquaculture for jobs and farming. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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