"I am pleased to distribute the nets and engines directly to the beneficiaries. The Government of Japan hopes that these inputs will help the fishers restart their livelihoods as soon as possible" said Yasuhiro Watanabe, Embassy of Japan.
Beneficiaries selected by MFAR were given vouchers varying from Rs 20 000 to Rs 40 000, depending on the size of their boats. The beneficiaries in Galle then chose a combination of nets according to their preference from the US$39 256 stock of nets provided by FAO through Japanese funding.
Approximately US$95 890 worth of 9.9 and 15-horsepower engines were provided to fishers who lost their engines as a result of last December's tsunami.
"Now that my boat has been repaired and that I've been given this engine and these nets, I'm finally able to go out fishing daily like I used to before the tsunami" said M. Cyril, a beneficiary from Dodanduwa.
FAO is the UN's lead agency for the rehabilitation of the fisheries sector. Whilst FAO and the Sri Lankan government's immediate priority following the tsunami disaster has been to get the fishers fishing again as soon as possible, the longer-term strategy is to improve the sector as a whole with a view to raising the incomes of coastal communities.
For more information contact
Mona Chaya, FAO Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Tel: 011-2689363/4
OFFICE OF THE FAO REPRESENTATIVE IN SRI
LANKA AND MALDIVES
202, BAUDDHALOKA MAWATHA, P. O. BOX 1505, COLOMBO 7, SRI LANKA
Email: FAO-LK@fao.org Telex: 22203 FAOR CE Cable: FOODAGRI Colombo