Loktak Development Authority (LDA) chairman Asnikumar Moirangthem has assured to work for the welfare of fish workers of Loktak while also committing to remove Loktak from the Montreux record.
He made the statement during the International Day of Wetland observed by the All Loktak Areas Fishers Union Manipur (ALLAFUM) and Champu Khangpok Floating Village Welfare Committee at the Champu Khangpok Floating Elementary School on February 2.
Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the Ramsar list that are threatened by technological developments, pollution, or human interference.
It is worth noting that this year saw the participation of Loktak Development Authority (LDA) and the Bishnupur District Administration.
The effort was from both sides to begin a process of reconciliation as well as to make way for working together of wetlands people and the state authority which is the bulwark of any wetlands management.
During the celebration, secretary of ALLAFUM Oinam Rajen emphasised the need to work harder to protect and manage Loktak and all other wetlands in Manipur as most wetlands in Manipur are dying and are in serious condition of decay and pollution.
Champu Khangpok Village Authority president Heishnam Arunkumar once again made a commitment of the village in protecting Loktak as the wellbeing of Loktak is same as wellbeing of fishers as well as that of humans and other fauna and flora.
Bishnupur District SDO Moirang promised that the fishers of Loktak have their due share of identity cards, rations etc. This is a significant step for capture fishers as they tend to be ignored as compared to those who are involved in culture fishery, the SDO said.
Talking to the media, secretary ALLAFUM Oinam Rajen said that ALLAFUM considers the assurance from LDA and Bishnupur district SDO, Moirang as a very positive step of the government of Manipur in ensuring that those involved in capture fishery possess legal identity and that their productive activities are protected.
The Directorate of Minorities, SC and OBC (MOBC) has distributed solar reading lamps for children, solar lamps with radio systems and water filter systems for each household of Champu Khangpok.
In addition, `Founder and Executive Director of South Asia Bamboo Foundation Kamesh Salam spoke on the need to use locally available resources such as Water reeds and bamboo for livelihood development to best suit housing and eco-tourism and other infrastructure needs of people of Loktak.
SABF has been instrumental in building the first Bio-Toilet at Champu for the school at Loktak, which can be replicated for individual housing.