Island Communities

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Life on South Sulawesi Islands

The islands of the Spermonde Archipelago have more than 60,000ha of valuable coral reef, much of which is now severely degraded, and are home for over 100,000 people mostly reliant on fishing as their sole source of income. As fish numbers decline due to overfishing, illegal practises such as fish bombing and cyanide fishing combined with little to no education, critical services or viable alternate livelihoods, the people face an uncertain future.

CSI works with the community on Palau Barrang Lompo, which is approximately 89 hectares with a population of around 5000 people, of whom 90% are reliant on fishing.

Barrang Lompo is located only 10 Km from Makassar, has a regular daily boat service. More wealthy residents maintain close relationships with the mainland and conduct most of the trade in both legal and illegally acquired marine resources. Sea Cucumber is a favourite being highly prized in the Chinese markets and many residents of the island have found themselves add odds with the Australian Security forces as they go farther afield to find this valuable prize now very rare in their own fishing waters.

As the only island in the area with fresh water, Barrang Lompo is rather fortunate.  However, overcrowding, poor sanitation and poor waste management has forced them to boil water for drinking purposes like everybody else. While many traders live in nice houses, the vast majority of people live in more modest homes and many of the common fishermen live on an average monthly income of between $20 - $40.

Erosion of the island, as with all islands in the area, is the biggest threat to long term survival of the population along with the ongoing decline in fish stocks and destruction of the natural habitat as fish bombing and cyanide fishing continues unabated.

Community Solutions International recognizes the plight of these communities and the likely impact on all of us if these populations are no longer able to sustain themselves, or provide the fish to the mainland markets, and they leave their islands for the cities.

We are therefore working with people within this community to establish alternative income opportunities for women, in particular, who are routinely left alone while their husbands travel increasing distances to find fish.

Visit our other Community Partners:

Cocoa Farmers    |    Children    |    Women