The Jakarta Post
In an effort to help revive the economy of disaster-stricken Palu and Donggala in Central Sulawesi, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has distributed fishing equipment to 2,650 affected fishing families in the region.
The equipment, which included fishing nets and coolers, was distributed to beneficiaries in 69 villages in 15 districts in Palu and Donggala.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry Director General of Capture Fishery Zulfikar Muchtar said the local administrations thoroughly assessed potential beneficiaries to ensure that the aid was distributed to those who needed it the most.
Deputy Donggala regent Muhammad Yasin said that fishermen in the regency had returned to fishing but lacked fishing equipment.
“This aid will help them recover their livelihoods,” he said in late August.
Ageng Herianto the assistant to the FAO representative in Indonesia, reiterated the FAO’s commitment to helping Indonesia during both disasters and crises.
According to Ageng, the FAO had developed a US$1.2-million food-security program in response to the earthquakes and tsunami that devastated Palu, Sigi and Donggala in September 2018.
The program was focused on the agriculture and fishery sectors as well as on improved nutrition for farming and fishing families. The beneficiaries comprised more than 14,000 families, or around 70,000 people.
Abtar, 41, the chairman of the fishermen’s group in Loli Pesua, Banawa district, Donggala regency, said that three months after the tsunami, fishermen in his village had already gone back to the sea. However, their fishing tools were destroyed so they have been using whatever was available to hand for fishing.
Abtar expressed optimism despite the great challenges ahead, particularly the coral reefs destroyed by the tsunami in the fishing sites.
Ageng added that the FAO was further entrusted by donors to distribute aid to some 2,100 farming families in the next batch.