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Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Artisanal Fisheries and Education in The Gambia

Maiyai Hochiemy, Momodou Faal, Alhagie Hydara, Kam Tang Orcid Logo

Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, Volume: 4, Issue: 4, Pages: 78 - 88

Swansea University Author: Kam Tang Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The Gambia is one of the least developed countries in sub-Sahara Africa. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Gambian government implemented a lockdown and various restrictions in 2020, but the impacts on Gambians’ livelihood remained unclear. With the gradual relaxation of the lockdown and res...

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Published in: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies
ISSN: 2663-7197
Published: Al-Kindi Center for Research and Development 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa61549
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Abstract: The Gambia is one of the least developed countries in sub-Sahara Africa. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Gambian government implemented a lockdown and various restrictions in 2020, but the impacts on Gambians’ livelihood remained unclear. With the gradual relaxation of the lockdown and restrictions, we were able to conduct the first questionnaire surveys to interview 140 fishermen, 140 fishmongers and 80 customers in the artisanal fisheries sector, and 150 students (grade 9-12) and 14 teachers in the education sector, to assess the impact of the pandemic on their socio-economic and personal well-being. Both fishermen and fishmongers experienced a drop in sales, whereas customers had to pay more during the pandemic. Illegal fishing, lack of policy and regulations and price hikes were among the main concerns for the artisanal fisheries sector, although the respondents did not feel a change in their personal well-being due to the pandemic. Students and teachers did not have the necessary training or resources to conduct remote learning during the pandemic, and both attendance and academic performance declined as a result. Access to the internet and learning materials was very limited, and 10% of the students ceased learning activities altogether. 19% of students and 50% of teachers experienced poor mental health during the pandemic. The majority of the students were concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their education, whereas most teachers were concerned about their finances and psychological conditions. Nearly a quarter of the students relied on unofficial channels to learn about the pandemic, making them susceptible to misinformation. To safeguard Gambian’s well-being against future pandemics or similar large-scale disruptions, we recommend better fishery monitoring and policy enforcement, more fish storage facilities, improving digital learning capacity, providing mental health care in schools, and devising effective communication campaigns about the pandemic.
Keywords: The Gambia, COVID-19 pandemic, Artisanal fisheries, Education
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: This work was a part of the project “Planetary Health in The Gambia (PHG): assessing the impacts of the COVID pandemic”, funded by Swansea University Global Challenge Research Fund.
Issue: 4
Start Page: 78
End Page: 88