The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) last week donated K110 million to almost 12,000 fishermen rescued in stormy conditions last month.
“USDP donated K50 million and MFF donated K60 million for the fisheries workers who were adrift in the sea due to the storm on March 14. We will give that money evenly to every fisherman who suffered as a result of this storm,” U Soe Naing, the USDP Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Pyapon in Ayeyarwady Region.
Federation secretary general U Win Kyaing said the MFF was trying to secure more support for fishermen from local and international donors.
“We are trying to encourage the all-round development of the Myanmar fisheries industry as a non-government organisation. Now we are cooperating with the USDP to help our fisheries workers,” he said.
“The total sum is K110 million but we can only give K10,000 for each individual worker as there are more than 12,000 altogether. Compared to their needs, our donation is too little, so we’re trying to get more help from donors.”
Altogether 12,486 workers were rescued by both commercial and navy vessels following the storm, while another 682 fishermen remained missing as of April 5, with three confirmed dead.
“We cannot say that those missing people are dead. We can still hope they are alive, although I agree it is very unlikely,” U Win Kyaing said.
Among those who received K10,000 from the federation and USDP on April 4 was Ko Htoo Naing, a 26-year-old resident of Bone Taw Kyi village in Pyapon township.
“The strong wind began blowing on March 15 and our raft was damaged that night. I think it was about 7pm. We did not think that the wind would be that strong as Myanmar Radio announced winds would be only 35 miles (56 kilometres) an hour. I think it must have been around 70 to 80 miles (112 to 128km) that day,” Ko Htoo Naing said.