Living on the banks of the Couva River in a shack, these old fishermen, who work at Carli Bay, Couva, proudly show off hampers they got on Sunday from the Carli Bay Fishing Association. The hampers were donated by the Proman Group of Companies. Standing from left: Johnny Ghobardan, Samraj Samaroo and Deodath Harbajan. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Several out of work fishermen and their crew at Carli Bay and Orange Valley, Couva, received donations of food hampers on Sunday morning.

The fishing community, like other parts of the country, has been hard hit by the economic impact of COVID-19.

President of the Carli Bay Fishermen Association, Imtiaz Khan, said the fishing community relied heavily on the export of Cutlass Fish out of the area. He said the fish was sold for around fifty cents US per pound. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak, the countries that purchased the fish are no longer importing from T&T.

Imtiaz Khan told Guardian Media that a total 500 hampers were sponsored by the Proman Group of Companies of Point Lisas. He said 250 of the hampers were distributed among the fisherfolk; and the rest went to the most vulnerable members of the community.

Fisherman Ramraj Ramdass (center unmasked) collects a hamper of green vegetables and dry goods from Councillor Alan “Taxi” Seepersad (yellow mask); President of the Couva Point-Lisas Chamber of Commerce Ramchand Rajbal-Maraj (white mask); and Head of the Carli Bay Fisherman Association Imtiaz Khan (blue mask), on Sunday, at the Carli Bay Fishing Facilities, Carli Bay Road, Couva. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Fisherman Ramraj Ramdass said he was grateful for the hamper:

“I thought no hope was coming, but I see the light here.”

Alan “Taxi” Seepersad, local government representative for the Carli Bay area on the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, said the effort began with him and the fishermen partnering with the St Andrews Sports and Cultural Group to get some assistance.

The local government councillor said other members of the business community joined in with the effort, and he hopes to keep distributing more hampers as the COVID-19 crises continues.

From left: Johnny Ghobardan, Samraj Samaroo and Deodath Harbajan. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)