Courtesy of Daily News, 1 July 2013
Australia provided Rs. 58 million for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to restore critical fishing infrastructure in the Jaffna Peninsula, providing a boost to the local fishing industry. Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie handed over a reconstructed anchorage to Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry officials at a ceremony in Passaiyoor, Jaffna.
|Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie opens the reconstructed anchorage while IOM Head of Office/ Northern Coordinator Vedharaniyam Karuppiah looks on|
Before the reconstruction, full access for fishing boats from the area was only possible during high tide, creating dangerous conditions for fishermen and damaging boats. The reconstructed anchorage will allow full access to the sea at any time, directly supporting higher incomes for around 700 fishing families, many who have been displaced multiple times.
“Australia is proud to see more boats using the anchorage and incomes increasing. This project is a good example of the partnership between the Australian and Sri Lankan governments to support local communities and the economic recovery of this region,” Mudie said.
“IOM’s on-going support for returnees and resettled displaced persons is highly appreciated,” said Jaffna District Secretary Suntharam Arumainayaham. “Through close work with the government, the IOM contributed to the development of the fishing and agricultural sectors. I thank IOM and the Australian government for their support in this vital project.”
“We can fish much more easily now,” Local Fishermen’s Cooperative secretary Gracian Demiyan said. “Our boats and engines are safer, the quality and quantity of our catch is increasing, and that has improved our earnings. The installation of a park using material dredged up from the harbour has enhanced our village as well.”
The project was managed by the IOM in consultation with the Divisional Secretary, local government officials, the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society, community based organisations, the Sri Lankan Navy, Fisheries Department and Jaffna Municipal