Fabric paintings and handicrafts produced by fisher women in ... , Naguleliya © Kumudini Ekaratne, IUCN, 2012
There are a large number of problems associated with these disadvantaged, impoverished and marginalised families in the Naguleliya village. Acute poverty, insecurity, lack of health & sanitary facilities, lack of educational facilities to children, adult illiteracy, specific women’s problems such as early marriages are prominent among many. All families are below survival level with limited employment and income generating activities with few skills for employment and little or no physical assets to start any kind of income generation activity.
The fact finding interactive discussions with villagers revealed that the major constraints to economic advancement of the poor families are the lack of fishing gear and assets, capital to invest, and unavailability of any external assistance and support to guide them to be free from the situation. To worsen the situation transportation and mobility is limited making them in a trapped situation in a narrow land strip, one kilometre long and 200 meters wide. Another impediment noticed is the lack of a proper people’s organisation at the village level to address these issues collectively.
Most families use firewood for cooking. Firewood is taken from the nearby small shrubs and mangroves which threatens their propagation. Many shrimp farms were opened surrounding the lagoon area that destroyed most mangroves. This was done with the blessings of the authorities by outside investors. As there is no way to change that situation now, it is proposed to preserve the existing mangroves by minimizing the damage caused by the villagers who cut it for firewood.
Therefore the main objective of the project is to build people’s economic power by promoting income generation activities, self-help development programmes, deep awareness raising on environment protection and formation of a community based organisation for sustainability and collective action to overcome the burning issues. WWSE also will introduce different alternative plants for firewood with energy saving hearths that will help decrease the threats posed to the environment, especially on the mangroves.
20 fisher families of Nagulaliya village.
Women Organization members are deeply aware about their socio economic and environmental situation and organise to increase their incomes and minimize the damages to the mangroves in the area:
The project was successfully completed:
1. A competent village level CBO (Rosa Kusum Fiohser women's Society) formed.
2. Income of beneficiaries increased by 40% and savings by 30% from the baseline.
3. Mangroves in the surrounding area protected due to enhancement of their knowledge through awareness programmes.
The WSE will use the “women centered family development approach” to implement the project. Both men and women both will be given equal responsibilities when the project is implemented. Moreover, there will be a special programme to raise awareness on gender issues among men and women, especially on issues of women such as early marriages, Women’s Rights and domestic violence. It is expected to provide more information to raise awareness among the male community on women’s issues and their present day plight. Using participatory approaches, interactive dialogues will be held to enlighten the stakeholders. The CBO which is organised as a Women Organisation will be managed by women who will hold the decision making positions.
1. Mindset of villages can be changed to improve their living standards through projects.
2. Not to select projects in remote areas (due to long hours spent on travelling).
1st Aug 2012 to 31st May 2013
LKR 234,800 (Community)
LKR 54,800 (WWSE)
" Nine months back, we were 'no body'. We are now empowered -thanks to this project and we also earn an income, which we never anticipated". Renuka, Secretary, Rosa Kusum Fisher Women's Society.