MicroAid replaces Fishing Kits in the Village of Salea’a’umua — 2012
When we think of fishing we usually imagine someone casting a line into the water and reeling in their catch. In Samoa, fishing means swimming under the surface at night and using a spear (in other parts of the world called a “Hawaiian Sling”) to snag your prey, and/or stringing a net across part of the lagoon.
Here, a “fishing kit” is comprised of a mask, snorkel, fins, an underwater light, a spear, 180 meters of fishing net, and a cooler.
The 2009 tsunami washed away the people’s possessions, including their fishing kits—and most have not been replaced. Now, if a villager wants dinner, they probably have to buy a fish at the market. And since the villagers don’t really have any cash of their own, they usually end up borrowing money to pay for things—which starts a vicious cycle.
Things in Samoa are very expensive—about two-and-a-half times what they cost in the U.S.—so the likelihood that anyone could put together their own kit is remote.
To help people return to self-sufficiency, MicroAid has donated five fishing kits to the village of Salea’a’umua on the southeast coast of Upolu—the hardest hit area of the 2009 tsunami.
The women’s committee of the village will be in charge of loaning out the kits on a nightly basis, maintaining them, and monitoring their use. Villagers can even sell extra fish if they catch enough.
This MicroAid project helps people reclaim their independence.
MicroAid receiving a lavalava from villagers