Treasure from lagoon for Fisherwomen

Malkanthi is cleaning Oysters
Addressing a meeting

K.K.D.S. Malkanthi, 45 years of age, was born in Kalpitiya. Her father was a sea going fisherman and mother was a housewife. Malkanthi had six siblings, three brothers and three sisters.
Quarrels at home were not new to Malkanthi, though not gone to the level of domestic violence. However, her eldest brother married with two children, had committed suicide after a quarrel with his wife. Quarrels were mainly due to economic problems while addiction to alcohol too has contributed to this situation. Youngest of the sisters, died at the age of 12 years ailing of cancer. Others are all married and make a living through fishing. Malkanthis’s family, had lived amidst economic hardships for a long time. Malkanthi’s father was caught and killed by the LTTE while fishing at sea but the village had no problems from them.
Malkanthi was only 19 years when she got married and continue to live in Kalpitiya. She has 2 children, son 26 years and daughter 23 years. Her husband was a dry fish vendor buying dried fish and selling it at Dambulla. Initially, they were living in a small cadjan house. They prospered day by day and became capable of buying 2 lorries. They moved from the cadjan house to a wooden house in 2013.
Malkanthi is the president of the CBO Diriya Deewara Kantha Samithiya in Janasavipura in Kalpitiya. Her CBO was selected for assistance under the “Building Sustainable Farms and Communities for Coastal Aquaculture in Sri Lanka” project with funded assistance from Stichting Gilles and she joined as a participant of the programme. When they started this oyster farming through SLCDF, they never had any knowledge about oyster farming and did not know what the oysters were like. When introduced to this oyster programme, Malkanthi thought that by working hard she would be able to earn a good income from it. They bought spats (small oysters) from Kandakuliya and started farming as instructed by NARA which provided technical assistance. She is engaged in oyster farming while occupied with house chores. Even though through simple trading they can earn much.
Her hope is to go ahead with this project with other members of their society – to earn a big income every month. She told that this project has brought her ample recognition in the village as well.