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 ACTNews, SERANG – The tsunami that smashed Sunda Strait in late December 2018 has paralyzed the economy in the affected areas. The fishermen along the coast of Banten are among the most heavily-impacted by the massive wave. In order to revive the economy of the fishermen families in Banten, Global Wakaf launched the Waqf Boat program on Tuesday (3/5).

Located in Cinangka Harbor, Anyer, the launching of the Waqf Boat program was held in unison with the handover ceremony of the boat aid funded by Aksi Cepat Tanggap and its partners. The boats were given to tsunami-hit fishermen in Bulakan Village, Cinangka Sub-District. The handover ceremony was attended by Sri Eddy Kuncoro of Global Wakaf - ACT as well as local government officials and fishermen.

The Waqf Boat program is one of the waqf programs initiated by Global Wakaf to revive the economy of the ummah, especially the fishermen. Global Wakaf invites the people of Indonesia to help the tsunami-hit fishermen who are in need of help.   

According to Global Wakaf’s data, around 400 fishing boats were damaged and unable to be used, and around 1,500 fishermen from several Sub-Districts in Banten such as Cinangka, Sumur, Pandeglang, Tanggamus and Pasawaran lost their job.

“Seeing this condition, this program aims to be a long-term solution because, for the fishermen, boats are extremely essential for their livelihood,” said Sri Eddy Kuncoro of Global Wakaf – ACT during the ceremony.

He elaborated that there are three main objectives of the program: to rebuild the fishermen’s livelihood that was impacted by the tsunami in Pandeglang and Serang Regencies, to increase the earnings of the fishermen, and to organize the fishermen in order to further assist and empower them.

“Therefore, the waqf can be turned productive. We not only give aid, but also improve their welfare through our assistance and empowerment. Additionally, we also aim to increase their earnings so that they can be more wealthy,” said Kuncoro.

Not only their earnings and wealth, the program also aims to strengthen the spirituality of the fishermen. They will be taught religious knowledge to deepen their understanding.  

“Our target is also to spread religious knowledge among the fishermen. We want them to realize the importance of religion in our daily life. The locals, especially the fishermen, should be aware that the natural disaster that affected them is a warning and test from Allah to make us remember Him more frequently and get closer to Him. Every activity must be done for His sake,” concluded Kuncoro.

Fran Santoso, a representative of the Department of Food Security and Fisheries in Serang Regency also expressed his gratefulness for ACT’s humanitarian program on behalf of the people of Indonesia for the fishermen in Bulakan Village.

“In Bulakan Village, there were 20 to 30 small-scale fishermen who were affected by the tsunami. We, on behalf of the local government of Serang Regency, thank ACT and partners who have made the initiative to help our local villagers. As the head of Fishermen Empowerment Section in the Department of Food Security and Fishery of Serang Regency, I will take part in assisting the fishermen and facilitate them to get their insurance and identity cards. Hopefully, it will be the beginning for these fishermen to rebuild their lives,” Santoso hoped. []