02 August 2023

TİKA Continues to Support Fisherwomen in Niger

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided 50 traditional-looking boats with hunting equipment to the women of Sorko, a local community making a living from fishing in Niger.

The Niger River is one of the most important resources sustaining the economies of the Western Sub-Saharan countries that it passes. Giving life to agriculture and livestock activities, the river is the source of food and income for thousands of people with the fish population it houses.

The river, which is one of the longest streams in the continent with a length of over 4.000 km and plays a decisive role in the demographic formation of the Sub-Saharan countries, is home to a significant culture in Mali, Niger, and Nigeria.

The Fulani, Zarma, and Haussa communities living in villages along the river are known as "Sorko (River People)" or "Bozo" and are also important in the oral culture of these countries.

Sorko's culture, which is often cited in historical sources, maintains its existence today with an integrated approach to the modern world.

Living in settled villages along the Niger river and making a living from fishing, Sorkos continue their social and commercial existence within the National Fishing Association of Niger.

Using traditional hunting methods, The Sorko community has difficulties in hunting down full capacity and preserving the products they hunt for a long time due to the lack of equipment and infrastructure.

Women come into prominence in river fishing, as is the case in almost all areas of agriculture and livestock. Sorko women, who work in fields during the day, get fish by pulling out the traps they set in the evenings early in the mornings.

Boat and market support was provided to the fisherwomen of Sorko community

In the city of Niamey alone, there are more than 100 fishers organized under a total of 25 regional branches within 5 districts.  A significant part of these members is comprised of women.

TİKA provided a total of 50 boats, 2 for each region, manufactured in traditional style and equipped with hunting equipment (nets, fishing lines, baits, etc.) to the fisherwomen of the Sorko community in 25 regions operating under Niamey.

3 fisherwomen are expected to take advantage of each boat at a time, while scores of families are expected to benefit from it in a broad perspective. In line with this, the number of people who make use of the boats is anticipated to reach thousands.

TİKA also built a boutique fish market where fishers across Niamey could gather their hunted products at a central location, preserve them for a long time, and wholesale market them to retailers and the public.

Freezers and display counters were provided

A total of 6 big freezers and display counters, that can be used by fishers based in 5 districts and the federation, were provided to the 60-square-meter fish market built in the 2nd fishing port of Niamey by sticking to the traditional architecture.

More than 1000 fishermen who work in the region and their families as well as the fisherwomen will be able to benefit from the Market which is a first in Niamey.

In the country where fishers display the products they hunt on riversides and counters set up disorganizedly in inner cities, it serves as the first market in which fishers are allowed to market their products at one spot where they can preserve them with cold storage technologies.

The built marketplace and boats were delivered with a ceremony

The marketplace built for fishers and the traditional boats were delivered to the Fishing Federation of Niger with an official ceremony attended by a large number of participants.

The ceremony was held with the participation of the Minister of Environment and Fight Against Desertification, Garama Saratou Rabiou Inoussa; Türkiye’s Ambassador to Niamey, Özgür Çınar; TİKA’s Coordinator in Niamey, Tanju Polat; the President of the City Modernization Agency of Niger Moctar Mamoudou; the President of the Rural Platform of Niger, Djibo Bagna; the President of the Fishing Federation, Ousmane Zakari; General Directors of the Ministry of Environment and Fight Against Desertification, and members of the press as well as hundreds of fishers in the region.

Speaking at the ceremony, Türkiye’s Ambassador to Niamey, Çınar stated that the opportunities TİKA provided are for the improvement of the working conditions of fishers, and that it will increase the production and sales capacities of the fishers in Niamey. Ambassador Çınar, in his speech, emphasized the nature of relations between the two countries and reported that Türkiye’s support will increasingly continue.

The President of the Fishing Federation, Zakari, thanked TİKA for supporting the fishers of Niger through the market and equipment opportunities and leaving a meaningful legacy for the next fishers.

The project aims to provide a sales center where Sorkos, particularly women, can directly contact consumers and retailers, support the animal trading capacity of the country, increase savings opportunities by preventing yield loss, and support the increase in fish supply.

The market built as a part of the project is also planned to serve as a boutique open-air fish restaurant where people can consume fresh fish.


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