Two Years After the Tsunami, Fishermen in Pandeglang Need Economic Support

Two years after the Sunda Strait tsunami, the fishermen's economy in Ketapang Village, Pandeglang, Banten, has not fully improved. Some of them still need help with the cost of renovating the boat, while others need to expand the market to sell their catch.

After the disaster, Karya can go back to sea thanks to the Waqf Boat from Global Wakaf-ACT benefactors. (ACTNews/Ardiansyah)
After the disaster, Karya can go back to sea thanks to the Waqf Boat from Global Wakaf-ACT benefactors. (ACTNews/Ardiansyah)

ACTNews, PANDEGLANG – Karya is a fisherman who is also the Head of RT in Ketapang Village, Pandeglang Regency. He remembers very well that the fishermen in his village work without help from anyone. “Most of the fishermen use wooden boats. It costs IDR 20 million per boat including machine and net,” said Karya when met by ACTNews team on Thursday, (4/15/2021).

However, many fishermen in Ketapang Village suddenly lost everything after the Sunda Strait tsunami hit the village at the end of 2018. “My belongings were destroyed and many were lost including my boat. At that time, I was fishing in the sea and my boat sank,” said Karya. Their economy was completely paralyzed at that time.

According to Karya, after the disaster, many fishermen repaired the boat themselves. Some of the boats were damaged in the fiber or body of the boat and others had major engine failures. “ We don’t mind if there is assistance because we need it,” hoped Karya.

The fishermen community has established a cooperative as a forum for fishermen’s economic management which continues to require improvements. Their cooperative is not yet official because it is still constrained by regulations. "The fishermen are very happy with the agreement to create a cooperative,” he said.

Apart from the capital for equipment problems, fishermen also often experience difficulties selling their catch. The marketplace is too far while transportation is inadequate. As a result, they are waiting for the wholesaler to come. “ We sell our catch here in the village at a low price. If not sold out, we will salt the fish,” said Karya.

Apiko Joko Mulyono from the Global Wakaf-ACT Team explained that Global Wakaf was trying to expand the marketing of the fishermen's catch in Ketapang Village. "Two years ago, we handed over the Waqf Boat consisting of fiber boats and complete equipment to 20 fishermen. Now, we want to give another kind of assistance to encourage them. It could be in the form of a market or training program,” said Apiko. He hoped that generous benefactors could help Global Wakaf-ACT empowering the fishermen, both from economic, knowledge, health, and social aspects. []