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By Gerald Lawson
SIBU, June 26: For umpteen years, most poor fishermen in Pulau Bruit have been living in rented wooden houses.
But their fortune is about to change soon. A housing estate with 307 units developed by the government is nearing completion. Very soon they will be moving in.
Pulau Bruit Area Fishermen Association chairman, Ismaily Johari was equally excited that their years of request to the state government for proper housing is gaining fruition.
According to Ismaily, this resettlement scheme is for members of the association who do not have their own house.
“Our association has 2,000 members and they are fishermen from 13 villagers in Semop area. There are 307 units in this resettlement scheme for fishermen who have registered as members of the association.
“The condition of the scheme is that they must not own a house,” he added.
The new houses are equipped with basic amenities such as water and electricity together with a community hall and a mosque.
“Commercial shophouses will also be built in the area soon as it has been included in the master plan,” said Ismaily.
Two bridges are also in the pipeline so as to hasten economic activity. With the two bridges, villagers can also travel with ease by roads instead of relying heavily on riverine transport.
Ismaily forsaw that the future is very bright for the fishing industry in Pulau Bruit.
“Pulau Bruit has big potential in the fishing activity. We want to heighten the fishing activity here but our main challenge is to change the mindset of the fishermen by instilling in them that the industry indeed has big potential,” he said.
There are seven fishing villages which constantly produce reliable supply of fish products.
Ismaily said in order to help them market their fish product, a better infrastructure facility is in the process of implementation.
“We hope infrastructure projects can be expedited so that fishermen can market their produce. We also have plan for a mini petrol kiosk to be built here,” he said.
How about the wife of fishermen?
Ismaily said the association would ask the government to allocate a piece of land for them to do farming as a source of side income for their family.
“I, on behalf of all the fishermen in Pulau Bruit, would like to thank both the State and Federal governments and local leaders for all these meaningful projects for the fishermen. I hope with these projects, the socio economy of the fishermen will be improved in the near future,” he concluded.-Dayakdaily