Batticaloa fishing casualty of floods

Tuesday, 1 February 2011 09:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Fishermen in eastern Sri Lankan region of Batticaloa have stopped fishing after an ulcer-like disease spotted among the fish caught from the lagoon.

Journalists say people in Batticaloa are currently very cautious in eating fish after the disease was spotted in the lagoon.Batticaloa is the worst affected district by the recent Monsoon floods. 11,750 of fishermen’s families are badly affected as a result of people refusing to buy or eat fish.  But health authorities have urged people continue eating fish as previous research has shown diseases appear after the heavy rain and floods are safe to eat.

S.T. George, Deputy Director of Fisheries in Batticaloa District, told BBC Sandeshaya that it is a normal occurrence after the recent drop in regular temperatures and Monsoon floods. “It is proven that there is no danger to health by consuming these fish,” he said. More than one million people were affected and at least 38 people were killed after the recent floods in Sri Lanka. The United Nations earlier appealed for $51m as flood relief.

After a visit in the flood-affected areas, UN Assistant Secretary General Catherine Bragg said everyday needs of Tamil people, such as medical care and help in rebuilding their houses, needed more attention.

“These communities remain extremely vulnerable. The future for the north is about investing in the people. They need skills, livelihoods and social development to help them move on with their lives,” she said.  She also said the resettlement grants, supplied jointly by the government and the UN refugee agency, would only last families about three months, adding that people shrugged when asked what they would do next.  People have gone home but houses are damaged; freshwater wells contaminated; and livestock killed in huge numbers.