Sri Lankan Fishermen Get Livelihood Support
Sri Lanka - Over 100 impoverished families in Northern Sri Lanka are set for a boost thanks to IOM and the Australian Government, who will hand over vital infrastructure to a fishing community in Senthankulam, near Jaffna on Monday 10th December.
Fishing - the life-blood of the local area - has been severely damaged in recent years by conflict and the 2004 tsunami. Now Australia’s Agency for International Development (AusAID) and IOM, working with central and local government authorities, have built a fish auction centre, a community building, a new road and a sea access path to jumpstart the sector’s recovery.
The auction centre will be used to sell the day’s catch, store fishing equipment and provide space for engine and net repair. The community building will consist of a hall for community gatherings, a library, a pre-school and a public health clinic.
The USD 87,000 project is part of a three-year IOM community stabilisation programme in Sri Lanka’s Northern and Central Provinces, funded by AusAID.
“The Government of Australia is pleased to be assisting the fishing community of Senthankulam to return to their livelihood and have access to other community infrastructure,” says Counsellor for Development Cooperation for AusAID in Sri Lanka Edward Archibald.
Together with the main construction, the project has also rehabilitated the sea channel used by the community and reinforced the breakwater, both of which were damaged in the 2004 tsunami.
“While this project directly benefits 117 conflict-affected fishermen and their families by increasing their income, the importance of bringing the community, local and central government together to design and implement this project cannot be overstated,” says IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Richard Danziger.
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