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ACTNews, BANTEN – The tsunami that hit Sunda Strait and the coast of Banten has left not only sorrow and devastation but also poverty resulted from loss of livelihood. The boats used by the local residents living along the coast of Banten to fish were destroyed and washed away by the tsunami on Saturday (12/22). Hence, the provision of new fishing boats is essential as an effort to revive the economy of the local fishermen.

Seeing this condition, Global Wakaf – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) aims to seek a way to solve this problem. Since Friday (1/25), Global Wakaf Team has started the construction of the boat mold, aiming to build six fiberglass boats and three bigger wooden boats.

The center of the boat construction is located in Bulakan Village in Cinangka Sub-District, Serang Regency, Banten. The village was among the worst-hit locations when the tsunami hit.

 “I am happy to be trusted in making the boats for the fishermen affected by the tsunami. Not only that I can contribute to the betterment of the economic condition here, I can also contribute in helping our neighbors who probably suffer from worse fate than us. May this be the beginning of the economic recovery for the disaster victims in Banten,” said Ipo Ardiansyah, head of the boat makers group.

Jajang Fadli, Manager of Global Wakaf’s Waqf Empowerment Program (WEP) stated that they will provide more fishing boats and tools as the waqf donation increases for the tsunami-affected fishermen in Pandeglang and Serang.

“Additionally, the fishermen as the mawquf ‘alayh (beneficiaries) will be assisted and empowered though fishermen groups,” said Fadli.

Reviving the economy of Sunda Strait fishermen 

The Boat Waqf Program is among Global Wakaf’s main programs to empower fishermen using waqf funds. Among the designated beneficiaries of this program are fishermen affected by the Sunda Strait tsunami. The Waqf-based empowerment program helps the fishermen not only to go back fishing, but also to increase their earnings.

“We will also give assistance to help improving these fishermen’s earnings. Additionally, Global Wakaf also support the fishermen’s spiritual life through religious activities so that they will gain more religious knowledge, making them closer to Allah. Through this program, we also encourage the fishermen to donate for zakat, waqf and sadaqah so that the waqf assets can continue developing to support more empowerment programs for the fishermen,” stated Fadli.

Fadli explained that, based on Global Wakaf’s data, the tsunami that smashed Sunda Strait caused the damage of 400 fishing boats, leading to the loss of job for 1,500 fishermen.

“Economically, the tsunami caused an enormous loss, destroying important economic centers. The locals lost their sources of living, affecting their life in a long term. Such misery afflicts the people along the coastal area. Thousands were rendered jobless. Fish markets were also destroyed. It will also lead to the increase of impoverished families,” said Fadli.

Apart from the damages caused by the tsunami, the local fishermen in Banten have to face the economic system that hampers their growth of their welfare, especially for small-scale fishermen.

For example, as Fadli explained, the small-scale fishermen in Pandeglang and Serang Regencies rely heavily on capital owners and middlemen. There are no standardized prices for the fish they catch, for the price depends on the middlemen’s demand.

“This is a classic problem faced by small-scale fishermen here. Such problem is what we are aiming to solve and eradicate. May the welfare of the fishermen be improved through this Boat Waqf Program. []