Members of the Vietnamese coast guard force have helped poor fishermen throughout the country keep earning a living from the sea after social distancing triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as drought and salinity.
Vietnamese coast guard force supports poor fishermen to continue earning their living from the sea after social distancing.
In northern Hai Phong City, Le Thi Van, 89, of Dinh Village, Hoang Chau Commune, Cat Hai Island District, said due to social distancing, her son had to stay at home for many weeks instead of going fishing as usual.
The family depends on her son's fishing, so their income fell sharply. Her son also had to bring up his two children, she said.
“Life has become harder,” she added.
However, coast guards donated money, rice and medical masks to help local fishermen to overcome difficulties after social distancing.
Each gift consists of 10 kilos of rice, 10 medical masks and VND300,000 (US$13).
“I feel very thankful,” she said.
Nguyen Quoc Chuan, another poor fisherman in the commune, said he was happy because of the support.
“It is not only material but also spiritual support for poor fishermen like us when we meet numerous difficulties after social distancing,” he said.
Nguyen Dinh Huong, Secretary of the commune’s Party Committee, said the commune treasured the support from the coast guard.
In the central province of Quang Binh, coast guards have given VND40 million (US$1,700) to a local fund to build houses for poor people in Ba Don Town.
Colonel Tran Van Rong, Political Commissar of the Vietnam Coast Guard High Command’s Region 1, said the money was not much but it showed the coast guard’s care for the poor fishermen in the locality.
“We want to encourage them to continue to go sailing, catching fish as well as work with us to preserve our marine security,” he said.
The coast guard force also assisted farmers in southwestern provinces to cope with drought and salinity in the programme 'Coast guards accompany with fishermen', which was launched in 2017.
Hearing about the drought and salinity in late March, the Vietnam Coast Guard High Command’s Region 4 dispatched a vessel carrying 140 cu.m of freshwater, 2,000 litres of clean water, 3,000 litres of drinking water, 40 kilos of rice, 200 medical masks and 100 hand sanitiser dispenser to give to the 175 residents of Hon Chuoi Island Commune, the southern province of Ca Mau.
The coast guards also sent 2 tonnes of rice, 100 boxes of medical masks and 1,000 leaflets about COVID-19 prevention to 270 poor fishermen in Kien Luong Town, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Le Van Tu, deputy Political Commissar of the high command region 4, said the coast guards wanted to help the fishermen overcome difficulties triggered by the pandemic.
The coast guards also explained laws on seas, islands and coast guards to the fishermen, as well as laws on exploitation of seafood towards sustainable development of fishery, he said.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Le Huy, deputy head of Politics Department of the Vietnam Coast Guard High Command, said in total, the coast guards had spread COVID-19 prevention measures to more than 10,000 people so far.
It aimed to help raise public awareness of preventing the spread of the pandemic, he added.
The coast guards had donated more than 24,000 medical masks, 7,000 hand sanitiser dispensers and 3.2 tonnes of rice recently.
They also carried a total 4,000 cu.m of freshwater, 1,100 litres of drinking water and 10 tanks of clean water to poor fishermen in the country. All of them were worth more than VND500 million (US$21,600), he said.
The value of the gifts was not much, but it showed the kind heart of the coast guards to poor fishermen, he said.
It helped to enhance national cohesion, contributing to the enforcement of laws and protection of the sovereignty of the islands and seas of the nation, he said. VNS
An outpouring of support has been shown for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, including providing free rice for underprivileged people and supporting poor teachers and students.
Fish catches are gradually recovering after the Covid-19 outbreak in central provinces, according to local fishermen.