Fishermen out in the open after being evicted from their homes
In a shocking
move, thousands of fishermen yesterday were evicted from their living quarters
in Sharq after the rents for the month of April were paid. The authority behind
the eviction order gave the excuse that it wants to remove the quarters.
Fishermen decried the move,
saying they have no idea where they will go with all the heavy sea equipment.
“Should we leave the country for good”, they bemoaned.
A licensed Kuwaiti fisherman and
the sponsor of some of these fishermen revealed that he had just paid the April
rent for his employees and was shocked by the eviction move. He said he wonders
what he and others are going to do with the licenses of the fishing boats and
where they can accommodate their employees if their housing accommodation in
Sharq is demolished. He remarked, “I am afraid this is the end of the fishing
profession in Kuwait”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Kuwait
Fishermen Union Thaher Al-Suwaiyan revealed about some people who are trying to
kill the profession through such moves of harassment and oppression against
fishermen for years. He stressed, “Despite all these problems and obstacles we
have encountered, we will continue fighting for the justice of fishermen. Most
of the problems we are facing are caused by the demolition of the fishermen
village back in 2000. The authorities did not provide an alternative
accommodation for 17 years”.
Al-Suwaiyan warned that the
harassment of fishermen will result in expatriate fishermen opting for
neighboring countries that care, support and appreciate this profession. He
lamented that the government has not been negligent to their cause but some of
its authorities are keen on throwing spans on their necessary requirements.
Al-Suwaiyan urged Minister of
Social of Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh to intervene and insist the
concerned authorities to expedite the establishment of fishermen village to
preserve the fishing profession from extinction. He said the profession is
considered as “heritage and has a big place in the Kuwaiti history”.
Al-Suwaiyan apologized to the government and the people of Kuwait that the
union, due to this situation, will not be able to fulfill its obligation of
upholding food security, as the majority of fishermen who are expatiates will
leave the country and fishing activities will come to a halt.