On the 18th and 19th of August we held the official handing over event of the Ecotourism Development Project for Urani and Kottukal Lagoons, which we were working on in the Arugam Bay area since January 2017. This was part of the Support to District Development Plan (SDDP) in the Ampara district, a project implemented by PALM Foundation under the supervision of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and funded by the European Union.
The aim of the project was to supply facilities to increase visits’ of tourists to the Kottukal / Urani lagoon. This in order to increase the Kottukal / Urani lagoon fishermens income which will sustain them in their livelihood, but also as a mean to sustain the lagoon and its environmental and natural resources. Basically switching the income from fishing to tourism.
During the event various equipment like a PC and TV were handed over, but also fishing rods to provide new tour opportunities as well as the website www.arugambay-ecotourism.com, which will be used as a hub for all Ecotourism activities in the Arugam Bay area in the future.
Some photos of the event:
Opening of the visibility board at the Urani Ecotourism Centre by Mr. Vimalanadan, Additional Government Agent, Ampara District.
Mr. Sumintha Wickramarachchi, Assistant Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources opening the first day of the event.
Leader of the Urani Lagoon Management Committee welcoming everyone to the event. Next to him Mr. Mohammed Anver, translating to English and Sinhala.
Mr. M.C.L. Fernando, the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has arrived to the event.
Director of PALM Foundation East, Mr. Sunil Dombepola, explaining his presentation while standing at the back in front of the bird and mangrove information board.
M.C.L. Fernando, the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources officially launched the website www.arugambay-ecotourism.com, which was made with the help of Mr. Wietse Sennema, volunteer at PALM Foundation East. On the right side the Assistant Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is seated.
Handing over the equipment to the Lagoon Fisheries Management Committee.
Everyone getting into the donated boats for a small Lagoon Safari over the Urani Lagoon.
The official opening of the signboard which has been placed in front of the ecotourism centre at Kottukal Lagoon.
Mr. Jaufer, the Fisheries Inspector of the Pottuvil area, opening the session at Kottukal Lagoon.
Great attendance of people at the Kottukal Lagoon.
Wonderful gifts received from the Kottukal Lagoon Management Committee members, in the picture you can see in front from left to right: Mr. Vimalanadan, Additional Government Agent of Ampara District, M.C.L. Fernando the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Mr. Sumintha Wickramarachchi the Assistant Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Director of PALM Foundation East Mr. Sunil Dombepola.
Also at Kottukal Lagoon the equipment and all documentation has been handed over to the Leader of the Kottukal Lagoon Fisheries Management Committee.