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FT Insight magazine - July/August 2016

  • Text
  • Dumbuya
  • Jaji
  • Coach
  • Leone
  • Insight
  • Population
  • Sector
  • African
  • Solar
  • Jaji
  • Brexit
  • Freetown
In This Issue: His Excellency, the Sierra Leone High Commissioner, Eddie Turay Olusegun Jaji & the blood, sweat & tears of Sea Coach The Wan Pole fish sellers see the future Plus Aminata Dumbuya and Sierra Leone’s solar revolution What does Brexit mean for business? Cash or cashless – how do you spend it?

Innovation Wan Pole f

Innovation Wan Pole f ish market, Gwyn Allen and the architectural solution intent on preserving this economic tradition The women at Wan Pole who sell fish to the public, from Monday to Saturday, buy from the fishermen who land their catch on Lumley beach, in an economic microcosm that has existed for well over half a century. But as the beachfront becomes more commercialised, and other fisherwomen selling on the beach have relocated, the future of this Freetown tradition has started to look precarious. One regular customer is local architect, Gwyn Allen, who has been mulling over the issue for the last two to three years. He recently started working on a design which will turn Wan Pole into a tourist attraction. Allen says: “I have been buying fish there for several years. It’s an untidy but lively scene. The fish sellers sell from cool boxes or baskets filled with ice, and I have been thinking about how to provide them with better facilities, make the environment hygienic and more attractive and turn their activities into a tourist destination so that they can remain where they are.” FT Insight 19 He organised a consultation meeting to gauge their interest. “They were keen to have better facilities and market themselves more commercially,” he says. He consulted and interviewed them, and studied their working practices with an architect’s eye, noting how they worked, bought and sold their fish, communicated with the public and each other and cleaned and presented their fish. “They work in pairs, not as business partners, but to support and socialise with each other. So that when one takes her fish to a customer, the other will look after her market.” These supportive partnerships have had a significant impact on Allen’s design proposals, which feature individual timber kiosks with two separate sales booths, set around a landscaped courtyard providing space to gather and socialise. The Wan Pole project has attracted significant interest and Allen, whose services are being provided pro bono in partnership with Freetown’s JYGA Architects, is now working with the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone on progressing the initiative. Discussions are underway with the Ministry of Lands on allocating and drawing up a lease for an appropriate space. A detailed estimate of the project puts construction costs at around 0,000 for the timber structure, with an additional ,000 for solar power to run lighting, freezers and a water pump. To make the proposal commercially viable, the fish market will need to levy a service charge to cover its running costs, including security, maintenance and management. Hana Rohan, whose day job is a health specialist, is playing a role in this process, working alongside the fish sellers on formalising their own association, forming a cooperative and registering as a business. She is also putting together a management system and has teamed up with Allen on attracting funding for the project. The Wan Pole concept is modernisation with a light touch and could provide a useful template for other f ish sellers on Sierra Leone’s beaches –preserving their livelihoods and respecting traditions while moving their activities into the 21st century. www.ftinsight.net

Aminata Dumbuya Olusegan Jaji Sea Coach Sierra Leone Insight Population Sector African Solar Jaji Brexit Freetown

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© 2016 by Yumpu
Aminata Dumbuya Olusegan Jaji Sea Coach Sierra Leone Insight Population Sector African Solar Jaji Brexit Freetown