The Fishermen on Funafuti Association FOFA, has received grant aid for the amount of $117,415 American dollars (which is $149,435 Australian dollars) from the Government of Japan.
This grant aid is for the construction of the FOFA Fish Market including equipment needed in the fish market – water tanks and freezers – that FOFA requested to help their operations of retailing and processing; and to provide their members with a sanitary place to sell and process their fish.
The First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Mr Genta Yamada and his team facilitated the signing ceremony in the presence of the Director of Fisheries, Mr Samasoni Finikaso and TFD Operation and Development staff and their technical adviser, Mr. Toma Hayashi. Also represented were the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the principal of Fetuvalu high school, Mr Penehuro Hauma and the FOFA President, Mr Ioapo Tapu.
The grant aid project contract was signed and handed over by the First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan Mr Genta Yamada, representing the Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP) programme, to the President of the FOFA, Mr Ioapo Tapu. The signing ceremony was held at the Tuvalu Partnership House, Vaiaku, at 2: pm Tuesday, 5th March 2019. Also signed at the same time was the contract for the provision of the school bus for Fetuvalu high school with the Principal of Fetuvalu high school, Mr. Penehuro Hauma.
Tuvalu Government has been working in cooperation with the Government of Japan since the year 1992. Mr Yamada said that “according to the GGP history there were 45 projects in total that have been implemented by Japan with the amount that has been spent approximately 3 million American dollars”.
The signing ceremony ended with a few speeches of expression of gratitude from Mr Tapu and Mr Hauma to the Government of Tuvalu and as well the Japanese Government for the great assistance that they have received and witnessed that day.
TFD has been working cooperatively with FOFA in the area of resource management in the collecting of fisheries data (both pelagic species & reef fish) caught and sold by local fishermen on Funafuti Island with the intention that this will contribute to the prevention of overfishing and better fisheries management.