Japan provides boats, gear to tsunami affected fishermen
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 February 2006, 11:53 GMT]
In a ceremony held in Unawatuna, Galle on 27 January, the Government of Japan donated to 8 large fishing boats as part of a 40-boat gift program to tsunami affected fishermen from districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa and Jaffna, a press release from the Embassy of Japan in Colombo, released 7 February said.
Full text of the press release follows:
The Government of Japan provided traditional type large fishing boats and fishing gear to needy fishermen in the districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa & Jaffna at a ceremony held in Unawatuna, Galle on 27 January. Hon. Felix Perera, Minister of Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources handed over 8 nos. fishing boats, constructed by Ceynor Foundation, and also fishing gear to the fishermen. The boats are part of a total of 40 fishing boats donated by the Government of Japan. These boats are fitted with a 36 HP marine engine and contain a unique fish-hold that would enable fishermen to stay up to 7 days at sea. The total cost of the 40 fishing boats and gear is around Rs. 107 million.
In view of the severe damage inflicted to the fisheries sector by the tsunami, the Government of Japan provided US$ 20 million worth of fisheries equipment & gear, and related facilities aimed at restoring the sector and thereby enhancing the livelihood of the people dependent on it. This is part of the US$ 80 million grant provided by the Government of Japan for tsunami relief and rebuilding activities. Based on the needs identified by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, this assistance package included a large number of boats including multi-day, traditional boats with out-board and in-board motors, 11 container type workshops, 23 trailer type ice plants and clod storages, 30 freezer trucks, etc., so that the fisheries industry can return to normalcy and the fishers could get involved in their livelihoods. Most of these items have already been handed over, while the reconstruction of fisheries harbours in Galle and Tangalle are in progress.
Mr. Yasuhiro Watanabe, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, other officials and persons from the fisheries community who were beneficiaries of fishing boats and gear participated in this event. The Hon. Minister of Fisheries stressed the importance of taking good care of the assistance so provided and encouraged the people to utilize the boats so as to obtain maximum benefit. Mr. Watanabe, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan stated that the people of Japan hoped that the assistance provided would improve the livelihood of the people affected and thereby uplift their living conditions.