July 22, 2010 3 Comments
These photos were taken by me, Brandi List and one of the interpreters (Russell). Most were not taken by me.
If you are one of my Facebook friends, then you have seen the multiple posts of me in the rope chairs at the Grameen Fisheries.
We stayed in perhaps one of the most beautiful, quiet and relaxing places on earth. This is the only way to describe the rest house at the Fisheries. I did threaten to tie myself into a chair and not leave.
The Fisheries are leased from the government for Grameen. There are 800 ponds. Each pond has a family or group of beneficiaries that work the pond to care for the fish and fish the pond. 50% of the profit goes to the beneficiaries and 50% goes to Grameen. Each pond is fished about monthly and there is an 11 million taka a year profit. Grameen also provides a hatcherie service for free. The objective of the fisherie is to help the local villagers become self-sufficient. Families make between 5,00 and 50,000 taka on each pond. The average is 20,000 taka.
There are some photos of fishing and the hatcherie. I must explain the hatcherie. The pregnant fish are brought into the hatcherie where they are given hormones. After six hours, the eggs are squeezed out and mixed with sperm. Once they are ready, they are put into the large round containers for 96 hours.
After that they are put into a series of three ponds over four months time as they grow bigger before they are put into the big ponds.
When Grameen took over the fisheries, a lot of work had to be done. The villagers did not trust the activity at the pond. To gain the trust of the villagers, Grameen made roads, created a wholesale market, and gave away water and fish. The ponds were also in bad shape. In 1986 activity on the ponds started and was completed in 1989. In 1990 the first Grameen Center was created at the Fisheries and there are two now.
Sadly, the lease with the government runs out in 2011. We all hope for the sake of the villagers that the lease will be renewed. If not, there is also a Grameen Livestock program that will continue but losing the fisheries would be devastating to the local villagers. Keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer.