Erigavo's first fish market officially opened
28 November 2023
Erigavo, the main town in Sanag, celebrated a historic moment as its first fish market was officially opened on November 21st. The building was funded by the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF). The opening ceremony was led by the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, H.E. Saed Sulub Ahmed in the presence of the Mayor of Erigavo, Mr Ismail Haji Nur, the Deputy Governor of Sanag, The Director of Fisheries director, SDF team, business people from Erigavo, and other guests.
The market is part of the SDF-funded Strengthening Artisanal Fishers in Sanag Costal Areas Project implemented by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development in Sanag region. The project aims to improve the livelihood of artisanal fisheries in Sanag region by improving their fishing skills, providing fishery equipment to increase their fish catch, organizing fishing communities into cooperatives and establishing a fresh fish market in Erigavo to provide a market for their catches.
The new market is well equipped with the required fish processing equipment such as cutting boards, knives, icemaker, cold storage containers, and other relevant equipment.
Speaking at the opening event, the fisheries Minister said "I am delighted to witness this historic development for Erigavo as we are opening the first fish market in the town. I want to thank Erigavo's municipality for providing the land and SDF for funding its construction. Erigavo Municipality will take the lead and will provide an enabling environment for fish cooperatives to use the market for selling their products while the Ministry will perform the overall supervision of the fish quality control."
Erigavo Mayor praised the efforts of the SDF and Ministry in the region and stressed that the new market is really saving the underperforming fishery sector in Sanag and will surely bring new employment. He added that the municipality will be taking a big role in running the market including closely supervising its hygiene and sanitation standards, allocating market use and any future expansion. For easy access, the market is sited close by the existing main market in the town.
Following the opening, the minister then travelled to Maydh and Hiis, two coastal areas in Sanag, to witness the distribution of fishery equipment to artisanal fishermen aimed at increasing their fish catch. The equipment included:
- Motors and fishing gear for 30 fishing boats
- Fishing gear for on-shore fishermen, net repairers (women) and for boats with already functioning motors
- Establishing a fully equipped workshop to repair fishing vessels and engines
- Expanding solar panels to power ice-making, cold storage facilities and workshop
Before this equipment was distributed, the SDF-funded Project had already provided comprehensive training on improved fishing techniques to 320 individuals from the small-scale fishing business including 30 women who learned to repair nets. The training aimed to enhance productivity and strengthen the fish value chain in Sanag region. Making and repairing nets locally is a new economic activity that will make the sector less dependent on nets made abroad. Fishermen will be able to buy locally made nets at lower prices and benefit from quick local net repair. And jobs will be created for women.
The opening of the fish market and distribution of fishery equipment mark significant steps towards improving the livelihoods of artisanal fisheries in the Sanag region and boosting the fish value chain. The second phase of SDF is committed to collaborating with the government of Somaliland to invest in inclusive economic development projects that spur jobs and improve the lives of the people of Somaliland through the production sector, infrastructure, social services and capacity building.