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Sri Lanka: Fundraiser for Marine Disaster Victims

We would like to invite you to support a fundraising initiative co-organized by Monkey Mind to support fisheries communities affected in the aftermath the X-Press Pearl disaster.

X-Press Pearl Disaster

On May 20 2021, the container ship X-Press Pearl caught fire while anchored off the west coast of Sri Lanka. Over the next 12 days, it spilled vast amounts of toxic materials into the ocean, including tons of nitric acid and 3 shipping containers full of tiny plastic pellets or "nurdles", causing Sri Lanka's worst marine disaster in history.

The plastic pellets have been washing up in their billions and have already begun to kill scores of dolphins, fish, turtles and moray eels.

A comprehensive environmental damage assessment is still pending, but severe damage is believed to have been caused to reefs and ecosystems.

Additionally, there are fears a breached hull could lead to an oil spill that would profoundly worsen the situation.

International media coverage: New York Times | Washington Post | BBC

The Campaign: The Beneficiary Community

Already badly hit by the Covid-19 lockdowns, fishers in the affected areas have now been banned from fishing due to fears of contamination, plunging the fisheries communities into a deep economic crisis. Women are the worst impacted. This is partly because their work is by nature informal, and they are consequently not eligible for registration with a state organisation, and therefore will not fall within any relief packages to be issued by the government. Their average income is about $150 USD/month (30,000 LKR) or $5 USD per day. They currently have no other source of income.

In this phase of fundraising we are focusing on 200 women and their families for urgent support. These 200 women directly support a further 450 people in their households. Please refer to GoFundMe page for specific details of the activities we are targeting.

On the ground all activities will be managed by
National Fisheries Solidarity Organisation (NAFSO), an award winning community-based organization that has been actively working for the rights of fisheries communities in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years.

Current Campaign Status

Having already raised $9,135 out of the $13,764 goal, we are well on the way to reaching our goal!

Fidem Financial (https://fidemfinance.ca/), a Canada-based financial firm, has generously offered to match donations from this point, meaning every new donation will essentially be doubled. If total funds raised exceed the $13764 target, NAFSO will be able to support more households than the 200 originally identified..