COVID & Monsoon Relief For Island Communities In Myanmar

By Thanda KoGyi

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A little bit of context

Throughout our expeditions into the Myeik Archipelago with Myanmar Ocean Project, local island communities - whether Moken, Myanmar, or Karen people - have welcomed us with open arms and helped us understand the root causes of discarded fishing gear in Myanmar's waters.

These communities' collaboration, insight, and friendship proved invaluable. They offered us their homes to stay, shared their meals to eat, and joined our coastal cleanups with great passion. 

Now it's time to give back!

But there’s a problem

The effects of COVID-19 have not spared these remote fishing communities. The global pandemic is adding to already existing vulnerabilities in these villages.

We have been in touch with community leaders in several villages to learn about their struggles and needs.

With seafood processing plants stalling due to workforce limitations and border restrictions slowing down exports, global seafood trade has come to an abrupt halt.

For fishermen relying on seafood trade and villagers depending on trading goods with fishermen that means their main source of income is dwindling.

Monsoon season with its heavy rains and dangerous storms is approaching fast, further restricting people's ability to make a living and save money to send their children to school.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

We want to help these communities cope with the combined burdens of COVID-19 and monsoon season.

That's why we are raising funds to send a boat with at least one month worth of basic supplies (rice, oil, salt, soap) for every person to the following villages:

  • Langann (Charlotte Island)
  • Ma Gyone Galet (Bo Cho Island)
  • Palawar (Thayawthadangyi Island)

There are a total of 1,827 villagers in the three villages with 113 children attending local schools.

Our hope is to ease the financial burden on families to help them get through these difficult times and send their children to school.

The additional funds raised will be used to cover children's school expenses.

About Myanmar Ocean Project

Myanmar Ocean Project is Myanmar's first ocean conservation organization. Registered in 2019, we have been working with fishing communities across the Myeik Archipelago to collect data about one of the biggest threats to marine life worldwide: abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG).

In the past year, our team of divers has surveyed over 80 locations and safely removed around 1,800 kg of harmful derelict fishing gear from marine environments.

Q: How will the funds be spent?

A: The funds will go directly towards basic supplies and school expenses for villagers in Langann, Ma Gyone Galet and Palawar.

Q: How will the supplies be distributed to the villages?

A: With Myanmar's current travel restrictions, we may not be able to travel from Yangon to Tanintharyi. Therefore, the money will be transferred to our trusted partners in Myeik and Kawthaung. They will purchase supplies in the nearest towns to support local livelihoods.

Our boat in Myeik from previous expeditions along with our beloved boat crew will head to Langann and Palawar.

Boulder Bay Eco Resort will be supporting us with transporting supplies from Kawthaung to Ma Gyone Galet in Lampi National Park.

Expeditions to the islands will be made in consideration of weather and sea conditions.

Q: I don't have money to donate. How can I contribute?

A: If you are unable to contribute to this campaign, please consider some of the following: 

  • Help us share this campaign through your network.
  • Learn about the communities we work with on our website.
  • Like or follow our social media accounts to learn about our work and donation updates (@myanmarocean on Facebook and Instagram).

Thank you so much for your support!

For any questions, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail at

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Team Members

Thanda KoGyi

Mirja Neumann