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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2583

US aid to boost Sri Lanka Fishing Industry

Colombo, 14 June, (Asiantribune.com): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday, marked the completion of the first of its large-scale tsunami reconstruction activities: the revitalization of Hikkaduwa fishing harbor, the source of livelihoods for 4000 families in this tsunami-affected area.

The project is a key element of USAID’s Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program and was developed in partnership with the Ceylon Fishery Harbors Corporation under the aegis of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The fishing industry is vital to individual livelihoods in Hikkaduwa, and fishing plays an important role in the economy of all of southern Sri Lanka. The completed reconstruction considerably increases the capacity of Hikkaduwa fishing harbor.Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources speaking at the ceremony held on 12 June; In the background-USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn and other distinguished guests.  Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources speaking at the ceremony held on 12 June; In the background-USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn and other distinguished guests.

Access into and within the harbor will also be easier for fishermen to navigate now that 28,000 cubic meters of sand have been removed from the harbor basin. Renovated and extended breakwaters now protect the boats inside the harbor from potentially damaging wave action. The auction hall has also been renovated, and water and sanitation facilities have been enhanced to improve the working conditions for the fishermen.

“With this newly-rebuilt harbor, USAID has helped improve the livelihoods of area fishermen and thereby strengthen the Sri Lankan fishing industry,” USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn said at the opening ceremony. “USAID has also introduced new skill sets to the workforce and worked closely with the Hikkaduwa community to grow their economies and recover from the devastating tsunami,” Ms. Cohn added. By empowering local communities, USAID hopes that local initiative will ensure continued progress and improvements that will enhance the local economy.

Also addressing the opening ceremony were Felix Perera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; and Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Chairman of the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation.

- Asian Tribune –

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