Resettled fisher families at Palaali North face hunger due to UNDP negligence

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 January 2017, 18:33 GMT]
The UN Development Agency was promising to provide sea-access facilities to more than 50 fisher families who were resettled after 27 years in their own coastal fishing village of Antonypuram in Palaali North in Valikaamam North. A few weeks ago, the fishermen families shifted their work from displaced Inparuddi area in Vadamaraadchi North to their own village in Palaali. After the SL military allowed them to access the sea 60 days ago, the fishermen were only able to make it to sea for 5 days, says 34-year-old Sujeevan Antonypillai, a resettled fisherman. The UNDP, after promising to put up the fisheries infrastructure, has delayed it. Housing was provided through Indian Housing Scheme, which was initiated in May 2016. The UNDP is now citing bad weather conditions to commence the infrastructure work.

Due to the lack of fishing jetties and access roads, the fishermen have been unable to enter the sea for fishing and their families are stranded without any alternatives.

“We have been waiting for this for 27 years and we have no issues with tolerating difficulties if we were able to commence our livelihood and look after our daily lives. Our main frustration is that we are unable to engage in fishing in our own soil due to the 27-year-old destruction,” Sujeevan Antonypillai told TamilNet on Sunday. There is a lot to be done he says.

The UNDP is eager to invest money. But, there is no genuine interest in putting up the infrastructure. Different actors are exploiting the allocated money in the meantime, informed Tamil civil sources say.

Thanks to a Tamil diaspora connected family, the poverty stricken people were supplied food to look after their families for the last 5 days, says Sujeevan Antonypillai.

The District Government Agent and UNDP officials were notified about the precarious situation after the people were brought back to the village.

The children are forced to walk to 3 km to go to school. Who is going to exert pressure on UNICEF and the SL State mechanisms to deliver education facilities to the children, ask the resettled villagers.


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