“Be you a driver, a shopkeeper, a carpenter or a mason, anything--if you live here, you depend on the fishing.”
This is what Nana Kojo Kondua IV, the traditional chief of Abuesi, said when I asked him how important fishing was for the village. I traveled to Abuesi, located about an hour from Takoradi, to talk to Kondua about oil spills.
Kondua, who is also the Chairman of the Western Regional branch of the National Canoe Fishermen’s Council, explained that fishing involves pretty much everyone in his village. The men go out on the canoes; the women finance the canoes. They also buy, smoke and sell the fish. The children get involved as soon as they’re old enough to help. Even the residents who are not directly involved in fishing wouldn’t be around without it.
During the “lean” season, when fish are rare, people leave Abuesi to look for work elsewhere, proof – if any was needed – that this village would not exist without fishing.
In this video, Kondua talks about the fear of oil spills. Like other fishermen in the area, Kondua followed the Deepwater Horizon disaster. He paid particular attention to the plight of the U.S. fishermen, many of whom are still fighting for compensation from BP. Kondua fears that in the event of a major oil spill in Ghana, there would be nothing for fishermen and their families.