Jun 26, 2020

Fisherfolk in Buthgamuwa struggling to recover (Video) Featured

As the country struggles to recover from the restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19, small communities with low income are those who find it the hardest to recover.

Fishermen living along the river banks of the Buthgamuwa area, in Colombo, are such a community and are struggling to recover in the aftermath of the Covid-19 epidemic.

For around a decade, the community has been selling fish caught from the Diyawanna Oya, in several places along the Buthgamuwa road.

However, following the epidemic, security forces have not allowed them to do so. Several persons have been arrested by the police and subsequently prosecuted, apparently under Covid-19 health laws.

'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns that some fish sellers have even lost their equipment such as scales while running away from the police.

Speaking to us, one fisherman said that once the police had completely destroyed their fishing boards and discarded around 35 kilos of fish into the river.

One such fisherman named Gabriel Vincent told us that there were about 10 boats on the riverbanks of the Buthgamuwa area. He said the fish caught in the boats were sold to the Peliyagoda Fish Market. "However, we are facing hard times now, due to being unable to get a large catch from the Diyawannawa waters or being able to get a profitable price at the fish market," he added. 

Below is a short video by 'Sri Lanka Mirror' on the days before the epidemic, when the fish trade along the riverside Buthgamuwa road, fared better times.