Trinco comes alive with ADB projects gradually taking shape

By Steve A. Morrell


Scars of war, ominous though they were, did not curtail or inhibit progress; quickly reshaping the Eastern port city of Trincomalee.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the North East Coastal Community Development Project (NECCDEP), wide cross section improvement projects are on-going.

Cod Bay Fisheries Harbour, re-establishing mangroves to enhance prawn, crab, and lobster stock and community development projects to promote self- improvement through home based minor industries.

All such projects enthusiastically initiated are on-going. Benefits accruing although applicable to individuals are generally community-based and eventually expected strengthen each village.

Drained of previous support, NECCDEP interventions were well received. Cod Bay fisheries harbour in China Bay is one. Objectives envisaged are to enhance existing berthing capacity for ocean going vessels venturing into fringe waters bordering Sri Lankan nautical limits. These sea going boats have at present out-reach limits approximately 75 nautical miles out to sea, particularly because of limited radio limits.

Project Director, NECCDEP, and former Government Agent, (GA) Jaffna, S. Mariadason Croos said all ADB projects were ongoing and completion could be expected on schedule. Latest end September this year.

He said the Cod Bay project would absorb total sums of approximately Rs. 237.3 Million. Such work included dredging, extending and fortifying the quay wall, onshore works for buildings and infrastructure, and facilitating berthing facilities.

What could be expected from present capacities of about 450 boats, on completion additional 200 boats could be accommodated, taking that figure up to 650 at any given time., he said.

On completion, earnings expected to accrue to the Fisheries Harbor Corporation would increase . Expected figure would be around Rs. 4 Million. It would then mean that migratory fishing fleets from Negombo, Chilaw and Tangalle could seek convenient birthing facilities in Cod Bay.

Project Manager NECCDEP, National Harbour Corporation, Percy Samarasinghe outlined improvement to Cod Bay, and overall modernization of the fisheries Harbour at China Bay.

Croos said depleted shell fish population affected income levels of surrounding villages. Mangroves when established, usually in the short term, would attract influx of shell fish and fishing activities would strike balances in this industry; and these farms could survive and prosper. Re-stocking would not be necessary because stock cycles would be on going irrespective of farming intensity.

Nawaz, a shrimp farmer was enthusiastic mangroves would mean prosperity.

Noorjahan, 49 years, was a pottery maker. A woman earning her livelihood making pots of all sizes - not only clay pots but she also fashions small pottery objects.

‘How long does it take to make a pot?’ ‘Oh! about five minutes", she replied. "I’m alright. I have eight children of my own, and two more boys I have adopted. Their parents very likely were swept away by the Tsunami. They were orphans. I adopted them. I have about 10 grand children, lost count, really. Have no idea how many. Quite a number".

"My elder son graduated. I don’t know what he graduated in, but he showed me a piece of longish paper and said this is what I earned. Where is he? He went out a short while ago. Said he was going to an interview for a job.. What the job? I have no clue what he went for. That’s my elder daughter. She’s married. She’s 19, and pregnant. I have married off five of my children. My husband? He’s around. He will be back shortly".

We also visited a milk packeting plant in the Trincomalee district. About 39,000 animals yield 1300 to 1500 liters milk per day.

Director Planning,& Agriculture Eastern Province. Dr. R. Gnanasegar said animal husbandry is being improved.

Milk yields are low. Just 2 to 2.5 liters per day per animal. He said he had a majoir task on his hands. To improve animal stock, through artificial insemination. Cattle mortality rate was comparatively low. There were animal deaths, but not intensely so. Things were on the mend, he said.

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