Socioeconomic and livelihood status of Beel fishermen: A special reference to Chapaigachi Beel of Kushtia
Debashis Kumar Mondal, Md. Abdul Halim, Md. Mamunur Rahman, Kazi Atiah Taiyebi, Mritunjoy Paul, Md. Moshiur Rahman
The present study was conducted to assess the socioeconomic and livelihood status of fishing community of the Chapaigachi beel in Kushtia from May to October, 2013. Data were collected through the use of well-structured questionnaire and several PRA tools from the selected area. According to the survey, most of the fishermen are subsistence (62.5%) whereas, 24.04% fishermen are professional and 13.46% are seasonal. The majority of the fishermen are Muslim (90%) and maximum percentage (52.5%) of the fishermen had medium family size (52.5%). Most of the respondents (32.5%) were in 31-40 age groups. About half (46.5%) of the fishers can sign their name only while about 22.5% of them were illiterate. Most of the fishermen (65%) live in kacha house and 68.5% of the fishermen were dependent on village doctors. Among the sampled fishermen 65% were found to use katcha toilets and majority of the fishermen (77%) has no electricity. From the survey it was found that, only 7 types of nets, 4 types of traps, 3 types of hooks, 4 spears and various FAD were used in Chapaigachi beel. The maximum number of fishers used Fash jal (Gill net) and Charo (Trap) and the lowest number of fishers used Khara jal (Lift net) and Teta (wounding gears). The present study has revealed that most of the fishers (55%) are engaged in fishing as their only income source and more than half (55%) of the fishers had low daily income (Tk.100-200). Only 30% fishermen were self-sufficient who did not need financial help but 16% borrow money from their neighbors’, 21% from relatives, 27% from NGO and 6% from cooperatives for buying fishing materials. The fishers have faced various types of problems such as inadequate credit facility, lack of technical knowledge, loss of fishing right, lack of appropriate gears, lack of nearby fish market and extortion by the local extortionist which make them poor year after year.