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Ministry announces Bird Flu in Ghana; bans importation of poultry from neighboring countries

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has confirmed the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, also known as Bird Flu, in the Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions.

It has, consequently, declared a total ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products from neighbouring countries where the prevalence of the disease has been confirmed.

It has also placed a ban on the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from the affected regions and districts to other parts of the country, and strict
inspection and issuance of permits to cover the movement of all poultry and poultry products from unaffected parts of the country.

These were announced in a statement, signed on behalf of the Minister, Dr Patrick Abakeh, Director, Veterinary Services Directorate, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

“The zoonotic nature of the disease calls for public alert and vigilance to mitigate the possible impact on the poultry industry and public-health, in general, it cautioned.

It advised citizens to report any unusual deaths of domestic poultry and wild birds to the nearest Veterinary office and public authorities for public safety.

They should also avoid the handling of dead birds with bare hands and consume only well-cooked poultry meat and poultry products.

“The outbreak of the disease follows the detection of similar cases in neighbouring countries since January, 202,” it said.

“Through effective surveillance and disease control management, the Veterinary Services Directorate has prevented the extension of the disease into Ghana until now.”

It noted that cases of the Bird Flu disease were previously recorded in 2007, 2015, 2016 and 2018, with significant economic impact on affected poultry farmers.

The statement said the Ministry was also intensifying public awareness and sensitisation through the Regional Coordinating Councils and District Assemblies, especially in the affected areas.

It, however, urged the public not to panic because the Veterinary Services Directorate was taking all the necessary steps to contain the outbreak and spread of the disease.

It urged the public to contact Dr Abakeh on phone number 020-8240734 for further information.

The Center for Disease Control explains that the disease is caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses.

These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.

Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans.

However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred.


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Over 5,000 farmlands destroyed by floods, food shortage imminent – NADMO

Some farmers struggling through a flooded farm

The Upper West regional Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Ahmed Mustapha has warned of a possible food shortage if the Ministry of Food and Agriculture fails to institute interventions immediately to deal with the effect of floods in the Upper East region.

He revealed that some five thousand acres of farmland have been destroyed by floods in the area over the last six weeks.

He indicated that the region has been a the largest producer of maize but with the effect the floods, there is going to be challenge in the production of the commodities.

“As at last week, the total acres that have  been washed away by this  flood in the Upper West region is about  5000 acres  of farmlands. Half of this figure is on the Wa East district and the food basket of the Upper West region.

“The Sisala enclave, from the Wa East, Sisala East and Sisala West, they do a lot of farming and they were the highest producer of maize as at last year.

“So when we sense food insecurity people should take interest in what we are talking about,” he told Alfred Ocansey on the Sunrise show on 3FM.

Source: 3 News

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Hawa Komsoon gets tough on Fisherfolk; suspends 4 communities over premix

Elmina fishermen apologise for engaging in light fishing; set to meet Hawa  Koomson today

Supply of premix fuel to four landing beach communities in the Central Region has been suspended indefinitely due to illegal fishing activities in those areas.

The communities are British Komenda, Dago, Abandze and Moree.

A statement by the National Premix Fuel Secretariat said the action was a punitive measure for the communities engaged in light fishing and other illegal fishing practices.

“This is to inform you that following a directive by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson, premix fuel supply to some landing beach communities in the Central Region will be suspended indefinitely,” the statement said.

By letters to the chief executives of the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA), Abura Asebu Kwamankese, Mfantsiman, and the Gomoa West district assemblies, the secretariat explained that: “Light fishing and other illegal fishing activities perpetrated by fishermen is viewed seriously by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) and its agencies because of its negative impacts on marine stock and industry growth.

“The National Premix Fuel Secretariat and, indeed, MOFAD is aware that premix fuel, which is subsidised by government, is regrettably used to fuel generators for the illicit practice of light fishing.”

Fisherfolk react

However, the President of the Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana, Nana Kweigya, told the Daily Graphic that the directive was a selective enforcement of the laws on illegalities in the fisheries sector, and that it would not help efforts to solve the problems in the sector.

He said the fight against illegalities was haphazardly being implemented, stressing that other illegalities — including the use of monofilament nets and undersized nets — were going on in many other communities.

Nana Kweigya observed that in Abandze, for instance, while artisanal fishermen observed the relevant regulations not to use light for fishing, some inshore fleets were landing fishes caught with light.

“There is no fishing community in Ghana where there is no illegality. In every fishing community, there is one illegality or the other. For what reason are these communities selected as culprits,” he queried.

“We complained to the ministry, but nothing was done about it. The ministry itself has given the tuna vessels permission to use light for fishing. Where are we going with this?” he queried.


Nana Kweigya said it was obvious that the ministry was only using smaller, less agitative communities as scapegoats while the main culprit communities were being ignored.

He noted that the fishermen were committed to efforts to rebuild the fishery stocks, but stated that it was important for the ministry to meet with all stakeholders to seek general compliance.

Ghana recently was issued a “yellow card” by the European Union, and risks a more serious sanction, if illegal fishing practices persist in the country’s waters.

Source: Graphiconline

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MoF supports 75,000 fisherforks during closed fishing season

Fishing Ban: Minority Bribing fishermen To Demonstrate - Ghana Live TV

Government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, supported over 75,000 people along the coastal communities with food items during the closed fishing season.

The intervention was to reduce the effects of the closed season on livelihoods of fisherfolks and promote compliance.

Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Sector Minister, who announced this during the Minister’s briefing in Accra on Sunday, said 15,000 bags of rice and 6,250 cartons of cooking oil were distributed to over 75,000 people along the coastal communities.

The Ministry also distributed approved fishing nets to some fishermen in the Volta and Central regions.

The closed season occurred from July 1 to August 312021 which covered Artisanal and Inshore fleets and Industrial fleets to ensure the fishes rejuvenated and grew into maturity.

Mrs Koomson also announced that the government was acquiring four patrol boats to help the security agencies guard the marine life and ward off fisherfolks who over exploited the country’s sea waters.

The four patrol boats would be deployed in each of the four coastal regions namely; Central, Greater Accra, Volta and Western regions.

This would facilitate frequent inspection at sea, offshore and for prompt response to detecting infringements at the VMS centres, the Minister stated.

She also explained that the acquisition of the boats would also accelerate the fight against piracy on the West African coast.

The Minister said a research vessel would be procured soon to aid a scientific analysis of marine life.

“Research vessels are important means through which the condition and change in marine ecosystems and marine fish stock can be assessed to define allowable catch quantities,” she added.

She believed the procurement of a research vessel would help bridge the current gap within the “fisheries sector’s ability to obtain marine data to support effective management of marine.

On washing of dead fishes ashore in April this year, Mrs Koomson said the Water Assessment Examination conducted by the Fisheries Commission revealed that the fishes in Osu died because of low oxygen concentration in their tissues.

That condition in the sea water caused a stress to the fishes leading to their death.

Additionally, the dolphins that were washed ashore in Accra, and Brewire-Akyenim in the Nzema East of the Western Region died because of drastic temperature change and sonar disturbance leading to trauma, dehydration and suffocation under the collapse of their weight.

She said those factors were natural and could therefore not be prevented.
Source : GNA

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