Tanji community blames gov’t for ignoring iceplant

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By Nyima Bah

Tanji community ice plant in the West Coast Region, the only government-owned ice plant in the country, has for the past five years been experiencing set-backs and the community now calls on the government to help remedy the situation.

A former manager of the ice plant, Lamin Bojang, explained how the setbacks affected the economic growth of the community, saying the plant is divided into different components and only one component is currently operational which is operating below standards as a result of inadequate resources.

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“The first component of the ice plant is the ice making compressors. We have two ice-making compressors; the second component is the machine used to cool down the cli storage,” he spoke.

Bojang continued that the two ice-making compressors used to produce five to ten tons of ice each in a day but now the ice plant only produces two tons a day.  The cli store used to store up to twenty-four tons of fish, enabling them to accommodate a hundred baskets of fish inside the cli store for fish merchants to collect and distribute to the markets the following day.

According to him, the ice plant is dysfunctional, though there were aids from the Japanese last year through the ministry of fisheries to help repair. He said unfortunately only one machine was repaired which is operating but not producing a minimum amount and it only produces cross-ice while the demand for flake ice is high “we tend to lose customers to private ice plants that are producing the flake.”

He further added that the management has written a proposal to the ministry of fisheries to help resolve the issue but there has been no response from them. He still urges the department of fisheries to help install ice flake making machines that could process five to ten tons of ice flake which will develope the economy of the Tanji community ice plant.

He also added that the government should provide a marketplace for women vendors and a proper garage for the Tanji community.

Ansumana Burry Marong, a representative of fisheries department at SAPO Central River Region, stated that the ice plant is very important especially to the fish merchants because as long as the ice is available, it will prevent the fish from getting spoiled and they will be able to reserve them for long-distance transportation.

Sainey Manneh, a fish merchant at Tanji, said: “What we need here is a freezing facility. There have been a lot of private investors who came here and promised us that they want to install a freezing facility but after getting a place, they do the opposite of what they said and that’s why we are asking the government to provide a freezing facility for us so that our fish can be reserved for a long period.”