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Far Ban Bo steps up to curb spread of COVID-19

By: Maclean Kwofi

A compaign to educate fishing communities in the country on the preventive and safety measures of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently underway.

The campaign is to help support government’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

It started in April 2020 and will end in July this year. It is an initiative of the Far Ban Bo, a fisheries governance project implemented by CARE Ghana, Friends of the Nation and Oxfam and funded by the European Union (EU).

The Project Cordinator of FBB, Mr Kwame Mensah, in an interview on May 6 in Accra, observed that the campaign mainly focus in the development and distribution of educational materials such as posters and short videos as well as undertaking education and sensitisation activities.

According to him, this initiative will be in addition to the already planned visibility activities of the project.

“It entail messages on what COVID-19 is, the major symptoms, preventive measures and the government’s directive on social distancing and the other interventions introduced to help stop the spread of the virus,” he said.

Under the campaign, he said airtime would be provided for the government officials such as health officials and staff of the Fisheries Commission to educate on COVID-19 and engage directly with fishers and answer their questions.

"The project will develop and print sticker posters and design and distribute electronically a series of infographics on COVID-19 as educational materials.

"The infographics will be shared through social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook. These infographics will capture periodic government directives and updates on COVID-19. These infographics will have voice over in the three main local languages used by target fishers (Fanti, Ga and Ewe)," he said. 

Unique characteristics

He explained that considering the unique characteristics of the fishing community there was the need to develop a 3-4 minutes educational video on the prevention of the coronavirus in fishing communities.

"This video will highlight preventive measures as proposed by Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ghana Health Organisation (WHO) such as the washing of hands under running water, the use of hand sanitisers, social distancing, the covering of the mouth when couching and the use of tissue paper."

According to him, FBB is planning to develop jingles in three local languages of the project beneficiaries, to be played at the studios of the partner local radio stations.

Concluded discussions

Mr Mensah stated that the project has concluded discussion with some media houses to develop one jingle on COVID-19 using the existing contract. 

"The project has dedicated some of the airtime to discuss COVID-19 and its relation to fishing activities and the programme for the radio discussions have been adjusted to capture four discussion topics on COVID-19. 

"It will also rebrand two billboards located in Accra and Tema with information of COVID-19 prevention and nutrition messages," he said.

Mr Mensah added that the main aim of the programme was to contribute to education on preventive measures to reduce COVID-19 for fisher folks and the general public.