Chairman of the Lake Chad Basin Fishery Association, Alhaji Abubakar Gamandi has called on the Federal Government to speed up support for the rebuilding of fishing and farming communities affected by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Gamandi, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Maiduguri, said: “the insurgents have destroyed canoes, tools and ravaged fishing communities in the Lake Chad basin.
“In the wake of insurgents attack about 204 fishing communities were destroyed while about two million fishermen were displaced.
“The activities of the insurgents disrupted fishery activities in the past four years forcing thousands of people out of job.”
Gamandin said that the Boko Haram insurgents caused widespread destruction of fishing ports, fishing boats, farms and local communities.
He called for modern equipment,to encourage production and processing of fishery products in the state.
““Initially, we relied on wooden canoes and local tools, but it was vandalized by Boko Haram insurgents.
“Devastating weeds have also grown on the river and has made fishing practically impossible”.
Gamandin explained that the association had so far registered 3, 000 fishermen in the affected areas.
He listed the communities to include Buduram, Doron-Baga and Baga.
The chairman called on the federal and state governments to provide the equipment to enable more fishermen to join the trade.
Gamandi also called on the Lake Chad Basin Development Commission to conduct weeds clearance exercise to save the aquatic species from extinction.
“The military is providing support to our members, who returned to the fishing communities.
“They also provide security to escort them to carry their fish to the market in Maiduguri,” Gamandi added.
NAN reports that the UN says subsistence agriculture is a lifeline in the northeast but the eight-year Islamist insurgency has devastated activities, causing a desperate lack of food and sky-high prices.
UN says many farmers and fishermen have either been killed or fled to camps for the displaced, where they are dependent on food aid, or to live with friends and distant relatives. (NAN)