Port City sets up fund to support livelihoods of fisher communities
Two Beacon Lighting systems, a long time need of St. Anne’s and St. Anthony’s fishing anchorages in Palangathure, Negombo was met when the Port City Colombo provided the required lighting systems to assist the fishing communities in the area.
Two Beacon systems valued at Rs. 650,000/- were unveiled at a recently held inauguration ceremony by Ranjan Fonseka, Project Manager of the Fishermen’s Livelihood Support Society a fully funded community service programme initiated by CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd. the project company of Port City Colombo. The ceremony was attended by H. M. W. Ranjith Bandara, Assistant Fisheries Director of the Gampaha District, Negombo Regional Fisheries Inspector W. M. S. K. Wanasundera, Susantha Jayasuriya, the officials and members of St. Anne’s and St. Anthony’s Fishing Associations.
Ranjan Fonseka, who addressed the gathering said that a number of programmes to support fishing villages in the Negombo fisheries district from Uswetakeiyawa to Kammalthure are already underway, under the patronage of the Port City Colombo. He added that a future plan of the project company is to get organisations who will operate from within the Port City to also help fisher communities uphold their livelihoods by joining their support programme.
H. M. W. Ranjith Bandara, the Gampaha district Assistant Regional Director for Fisheries spoke of the number of protests staged against the project in the recent past, which were fueled by various hidden political agendas. He reiterated that the Port City management has allocated large sums of money for the welfare activities and livelihood support of fisher folk and if these funds were properly utilized by them, the surrounding communities could reap several benefits in the future.
The Assistant Regional Director also said that the construction of the Port City project has not caused any reduction in fish production in the Negombo area, recalling that in the last several days fishermen in Negombo have managed to bring in large fish harvests.