Fisheries Livelihood Support Program: Beneficiaries exchange Sex for Enrollment (Pt 1)

Our checks with some informants from some of the communities in the Keta, Ketu South and Anloga Districts confirm knowledge of this heinous activity involving some of the project officers, who are allegedly coordinating the recruitment process.

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There is a fisheries livelihood support program targeting the youth between the ages of 15 to 35 in coastal fishing communities of Ghana. This program has been widely described and projected as good as it provides opportunities for the youth to gain employable skills in Carpentry, Masonry, Hair dressing, Electricals, Plumbing, Catering, among others.

For all intents and purposes the program has been designed to provide livelihood alternatives for the youth in fishing communities due to the decline in the fishing.

However, confirmed reports from the Volta Region indicates that some of the beneficiaries of the Livelihood Program actually exchange Sex for enrollment onto the Program. This revelation came to Spy New Agency Gh rather shocking.

Our checks with some informants from some of the communities in the Keta, Ketu South and Anloga Districts confirm knowledge of this heinous activity involving some of the project officers, who are allegedly coordinating the recruitment process.

It is sad, that such illicit sexual activity has continued to expose youth girls to harm and abuse.

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Below are some of the comments from our informants:

Informant 1: “I have heard about the issue and some people have also informed me, and as a community leader, I have started my own investigations. My plan is to find out more so that I can make a formal report to the police. Because this is evil, there is even the suspicion that the one involved is intentionally infecting the young innocent girls with HIV, which is very possible. We need to all stand up and stop this”.

Informant 2: I reside in Keta and as a fisher I have developed keen interest in the project providing livelihood support to the youth. However, I started hearing strange stories that some of the young girls have to offer sex before they are enrolled on the livelihood program. For me I see this as gross wickedness, where vulnerable young girls who are looking for a way out of poverty are exploited by senseless men because of this livelihood support program. I wish someone will stop these irresponsible men leading the project here and save the innocent girls being sexually exploited.

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Informant 3: “I am a woman Fishers Leader in Keta, my own Daughter reported to me that she was sexually harassed by one of the officers involved in the livelihood program, she told me that one particular project officer made several requests to have sex with her in order for her to be part of the program as a service provider. I was so shocked when I heard it, so I confronted the officer, who is stationed in Keta and gave him a stern warning.  As a woman fisher leader in Keta, I have resolved to expose this wicked behaviour, to save other girls from evil and dangerous behaviour.”

Informant 4: “As young lady, when I heard about the work of the NGO and the livelihood program, I felt very happy about the opportunities. So, I approached one of the coordinators of the project here in Keta and informed him about my interest to participate in the project and also support the youth to gain livelihood skills. He introduced me to some of the officers from the international NGO in Accra, who are managing the project. I was then involved in some of the project meetings that were organized in the Volta region. I was at one point given some of the livelihood application forms to distribute to support the enrolment of the youth. During this period, I had been receiving requests from this coordinator in Keta to offer him sex in exchange for securing me better opportunities on the project. He pestered me with consistent text messages and videos eliciting sex from me. After many weeks of resisting him, he told me that he will cut me off the program and ensure that I was not invited to any of the meetings. After a few weeks I was informed by one of the project officers from the main INGO in Accra that I should hand over all remaining livelihood forms in my possession. Since then I have never been invited to any of the meetings or activities organized under the program. I am convinced that it was because I refused to offer sex to that officer. That is why I have been cut off from the program completely. I feel so depressed, dejected and traumatized, I wish someone could stop this unethical behaviour and abuse of position.”

Informant 5: “I am a young woman and I reside in Ketu South. I got associated with the NGO and the project activities by virtue of my work. I have a desire to help my community and see the youth develop their economic skills. I was happy when the project was introduced during one of the project meetings. I contacted one of the project staff and indicated my readiness to participate and support the project implementation. I was invited to some of the meetings of the Project from time to time, then after a while I began to receive unsolicited advances and text messages including explicit videos from one of the lead officers requesting for sex from me. On a few occasions the officer invited me to the project office which also served as accommodation for some of the project staff, every time I went to the office, the officer made serious sexual advances to me or openly requested to have sex with me, which I always declined politely. On one occasion the officer, tried to rape me, I was so shocked and left his office. After this encounter, he told me, he will make sure that I am never involved in any of the project activities.

And since then, I have not been invited to any of the project meetings again. I feel confused and wonder why such an important project will give so much power to such officers and will not put in place any mechanism to monitor abuse of power by the officers.”


  1. Are the girls afraid to report the issues, do they know who to report to and how to report?
  2. Why have community leaders not reported this matter formally to the police?
  3. Are some of the staff of the international NGO aware of this sexual exploitation and abuse of power?
  4. Are there any systems put in place by the international NGO to prevent their partners from abuse of beneficiaries?
  5. What actions have the INGO put in place after being informed about this issue?
  6. Are the staff of the local NGO aware of the sexual exploitation of the livelihood beneficiaries?
  7. Is the local NGO aware their staff has HIV and do they know he has a record of lack of sexual control?
  8. Is it true that the officer involved is HIV positive and criminally spreading the virus?
  9. What does the Ghana AIDS Commission have to say about this?
  10. Who can protect the young girls from this sexual exploitation?
  11. What actions have been taken by the organizations involved?
  12. How can we learn lessons and prevent this in future?

NB: This is the beginning of this developing story, so please stay tuned as we conduct more interviews, and speak to young girls and families who are victims. We will also be speaking with the international NGO, the local partners, the Ghana AIDS Commission, and other partners to get more answers. Expect interesting revelations.

Source: Citizen Kofi || Spy News Agency Gh.

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