Down the West Coast (Part I)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Viw of Sekondi from the Fort
During my last vacation I made a huge journey through the north of Ghana, waking up in another town and sitting in a tro for at least eight hours each day. That's why this time I decided to do a relaxed journey down the coastal area in the west of Ghana.

Black Star Bookshop
Our first stop was Cape Coast, but we only stayed long enough to eat in my favorite vegan restaurant and get some new (well it's secondhand, but new to me) reading material. Then we took another tro to Takoradi, the capital of the Western Region.

Fishing Harbour in Sekondi
From Takoradi we made an excursion to its twin town Sekondi. There is a lot more going on in Takoradi than in Sekondi, but Sekondi has a charming and calm flair, as well as a beautiful fishing harbour. The people are very friendly and if you can speak a bit of Fante or Twi they will love to talk to you. We had a nice chat to some of the ladies there about the various kinds of fish.

Red Snapper
The fishermen still get a lot of Red Snappers and other big fish, however they are already complaining that the fish are getting less. The waters of West Africa have a richness in fish, something that didn't evade international interests. It's getting more and more of an issue for local fishers that especially European and Japanese fish trawlers catch huge amounts of fish in the deeper waters of Africa's West Coast. That's why I wouldn't recommend anyone in countries like my own to eat fish: In countries like Germany it's perfectly easy to have a balanced and healthy diet without consuming fish. In West Africa however, fish is an essential part of most people's diet and if these people can't afford fish anymore because the local fishermen cannot compete with the international trawlers, they are facing huge problems. The thing is that most people in Ghana still prepare their food in the traditional way and often they can't imagine a meal without meat or fish. The town where I live has a great supply of different vegetables, beans and fruits, so it would be possible for people to live a vegetarian or vegan life, which would be even cheaper due to the meat and fish prices. However, this would mean a huge change in the way people perceive and prepare food here, which is something I personally don't see coming in the next few years.
Apart from that, the prospect of completely overfished oceans should be a concern for all of us.

We said our goodbyes to the fishermen and the market women and climbed up the hill to enjoy the view of Sekondi. At the fort we by chance met the guide, who told us a lot about the fort and Sekondi's history. Back in Takoradi, while enjoying a huge bowl of Fufu and Groundnutsoup, we started making plans for the rest of our journey ...

- Sarah

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