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Efforts on to reduce pressure on the largest lagoon

Staff Reporter

Chilika Development Authority and Japan ICA join hands in the mission



Chilika lake - A file photo.

BERHAMPUR: The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have come together to reduce the pressure of fishing on this largest lagoon of the Indian subcontinent.

They have initiated pilot projects in four villages inhabited by fishermen on the coast of the lake. The efforts are to provide alternative livelihood to the rising population of fisherman families so that they do not get over dependent on the lake. Rising of pressure on the lake has its impact on the fragile bio-diversity of the lake, said Sudarsan Panda, the CEO of the CDA.

Alternative livelihood

The pilot project to provide alternative livelihood have been started in Gourangapatana of Ganjam district, Bhusandpur of Khurda district, Alindapatana and Mahisa of Puri district. With the help of the local elected representatives, NGOs and village committee the CDA officials are trying make the people of these villages understand that there can be lucrative income sources available for them other than fishing. Mr. Panda as well as representatives of the JICA, S. Kobayashi and S.Sasaki are also holding meetings with the villagers. On Friday they were at Mahisa village to discuss their proposal with the villagers. They have already visited Gourangapatana. The rest two villages would also be covered up within next week.

The villagers are being provided several options of alternative livelihood ranging from coconut plantation, coir industry and goat farming to eco-tourism. “But the ultimate decision is to be taken by the village committee,” said Mr Panda. By Feb 20 the villagers would provide the list of alternative livelihood that interests them.

The CDA and JICA would provide financial help, technical support and help for capacity building for the selected projects at these villages. The women Self Help Groups (SHG) would be promoted to take major role in these projects. The fishermen also accept that fishing in Chilika lake is no more a lucrative profession.

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