29 May Pejuang Laut Join Covid-19 Response
Pejuang Laut are not just championing our marine environment but for the overall health of the community, too! Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, community participation is very important to reduce the virus spread in our small islands. As local leaders among their community, our Pejuang Laut (Champions of the Sea) in Maluku and North Maluku Province voluntarily engage themselves in various activities regarding the Covid-19 response. They work together with the local government to monitor the social distancing policy implementation and to increase the community’s knowledge about Covid-19 so that they will follow the regulations.
In Buano Island, Maluku Province, Roberth Hutuely takes an important role to increase knowledge about Covid-19 among his community in South Buano Village. He works together with other Pejuang Laut in the village, Megi Pesirahu, and Renni Nusaaly. Together they inform the community about what the virus is, how it spreads, how to prevent the virus from spreading, and what are the symptoms of the virus infection. This is not an easy task for Roberth, Megi, and Renni, as the community experiences a language barrier. The situation makes them have to work hard in finding simple words to inform them about the virus.
Further, they also promote a clean and healthy lifestyle by washing hands to prevent the virus spread. There are several washing stations installed in the village area. They help the community members to wash hands properly and remind them to always put the face mask on and not make any crowd due to the social distancing regulation. The village government in South Buano also implements a strict regulation to always check the temperature of those who come in and out of the island.
Another Pejuang Laut in the Sula Islands, Nurhasni Yoisangadji, takes a different role in the Covid-19 response. She leads a team with the main focus of handling infectious waste from the quarantine facility in Sula Islands regency. This responsibility exposes her to dangerous materials as the waste comes from infected patients and the medical team in the quarantine facility. She regularly conducts surveillance to ensure the infectious waste is being handled properly and not thrown into the sea. There are several protocols that have to be applied carefully, such as disinfecting the vehicle and team members before and after transferring the waste to the special facility where the waste will be disposed of.
With their participation in the Covid-19 response, Pejuang Laut, as local champions, have proved themselves capable of being future leaders. They play a significant role not only in promoting sustainable fisheries and protecting the endangered, threatened, and protected marine species, but also in protecting their community.
Photos : Pejuang Laut/CTC