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Just like farmers or pastoralists, traditional fishing communities are seeing their livelihoods threatened by climate change. Rising water temperatures and pollution fundamentally change the ecosystems they depend on to make a living. In these communities, scarcity of fish triggers a ripple effect that leads to school dropouts, inability to access healthcare, emotional distress, loss of savings, and ultimately hunger.

This story is just one example of how our programmes are having an impact thanks to the expertise and adaptability of our partners. Through your donations, CAFOD enables thousands of people like James to secure a future for themselves and their families. Our partners reach out to them with practical, flexible advice and a sympathetic ear.

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Technology in New Kru Town, Liberia

The Fishfinder is a light, rechargeable hand-held device that combines sonar technology with high-sensitivity GPS. Together with adequate safety equipment and training, it has already made a big difference for James and his friends and colleagues. They can view and navigate across fishing spots, identify hazardous places and find their way home even in stormy weather.

Additionally, cooling tables and freezers were also provided to local fishmongers because fresh fish fetch a higher price in the market than dried or smoked.


Savings and Loans in Tombolu, Sierra Leone

In rural Sierra Leone, catching catfish is a strenuous job done mostly by women from low and very low income households. Most have additional sources of food and income like small scale farming, as fishing alone is not enough to provide for their families.

Our partner established a Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) scheme for women to save and strengthen their finances. One of the members used her loan to start selling smoked fish. She told us her dream is to get her own van and that she intends to continue growing her small business.


Access in Malakal, South Sudan

In Malakal, South Sudan, the Nile River provides the perfect conditions for fishing. However, the fishermen and whole communities in Owach district were frustrated because, after months of flash flooding and overgrowth of vegetation, it took them up to eight hours to row to the market.

In addition to new fishing kits and canoes, our partner provided three speedboats for the communities to share, so now it is possible to transport fresh fish to the market, bring other produce back to the village or go to the hospital.

Mahinur with net about to fish.jpg

Skills in Bangladesh

Fishing has meant a life-changing opportunity for many women in Bangladesh. Our Bangladeshi partners are experts in migration and support survivors of modern slavery.

They help by teaching them skills like fish farming and enabling them to start their own fishponds. The income they earn is not just a way of making a living, but a boost to their self-esteem.


Advocacy in Guatemala

Chemical pollution from unregulated mining and industrial activity is threatening the livelihoods of indigenous fisherfolk in Lake Izabal.

CAFOD teams up with local NGOs and universities to monitor water quality and empower communities to make their demands heard. We raise awareness and advocate for the safety and respect of local activists.

Lent calendar 26 February

Comfort, a fishmonger from New Kru Town, laying out the catch of the day.

Your donations keep our projects in motion:

  • £4,186 could buy two cooling tables for a fishmonger;

  • £6,000 could buy 50 Fishfinders;

  • £9,290 could buy 15 solar-powered freezers to keep the catch fresh;

  • £15,675 could purchase 15 canoes for fishing and transportation;

  • £18,600 could fund training and business grants for 150 people to get a second chance in a new trade.

If you have questions about our work on climate adaptation, or if you think you can help us fund a specific project, our team is here to help.

Thank you for considering a donation to CAFOD.

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My father taught me how to fish at the age of twelve. We had easy access to food in River Cess. Life was easier there. When you change your environment, you have to adapt.