The Minister of Tourism and Culture has issued a stern warning to artisanal fishermen at the Lumley Beach in Freetown to vacate the area.Hindolo Trye has stated that he was running out of patience on the issue of peacefully getting the fishermen off the Lumley Beach area. The Minister stated that the August 10, 2009 deadline that was given to the fishermen to vacate the Lumley Beach premises had expired and that they must leave.He firmly stated that his ministry would not accept the plea of the fishermen to wait until December for them to vacate the area. Also, he pointed out that it was not the responsibility of the government to find an alternative site where the fishermen would be conducting their activities. He said they must find a place for themselves.
|Minister of Tourism and Culture Mr. Hindolo Try
The Minister stated that they were moving the fishermen from the location because the sight of the fishermen was not appropriate for the country’s tourism. The Minister stated that they have better plans for the area, though he failed to point out the specifics of those plans.The Harbour Master of the Lumley Beach said they were not challenging the Minister’s order for them to quit the area. He furthered that they were only pleading with the Minister to give them up to December to quit.
Also, they are calling on the Minister to include them in the programme of making the Lumley Beach a tourist attraction area. He informed further that each of the fishing boats at the Lumley Beach was employing over 30 youths, adding that their removal from the site without being integrated into any programme would result in several youths losing their jobs.For her, a boat owner at the Lumley Beach, Josephine Freeman told the UN radio that they were very committed to the promotion of tourism in the country. She said local fishing was also serving as a tourist attraction, and called on the Minister to offer them an alternative site.
Most fishermen have expressed that it was from their fishing job that they pay school fees and feed their families. They therefore called on the Minister to exercise calm until December and also for them to be reintegrated into the tourist attraction programme of the Ministry for the Lumley beach.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.