03 Apr How the local communities are supporting the dive industry
So you must have heard about the USAT Liberty wreck and its history. If you have been diving there you must have seen the ladies carrying the equipment and tanks.
What you might not know is the history of this initiative. The people involved in all the logistics around Tulamben are from the Diving Helpers Club Tulamben. You have these initiatives on multiple locations in Bali. If you have dived Manta Point with us, you can see that where we leave with the speedboat, there is also a helpers club.
These people dedicate their lives, making your day, and our job more enjoyable. Instead of carrying around equipment we can spend our time with you. A lot of people around Bali make their living, and support their families, helping the dive industry out.
The diving helpers club in Tulamben goes back to 1978, and was founded by Pak Kari Yasa. For every diver diving on Tulamben, a fee is paid by the dive center using the service. The income is pooled and at the end it is shared equally between the helpers. 20% goes to the club itself, this money is used for community based needs, such as for example on schools or new instruments for the gamelan orchestra.
You will see the women carrying the tanks and equipment, the role of the men is to patrol the dive sites day and night to ensure there is no illegal fishing activity, to protect the reefs and therefore their income for the future.
Don’t feel embarrassed when you see these people carrying your equipment, that’s how they provide for their families, of course you can always give them a helping hand by handing your equipment and tanks.
It will also be a great photo opportunity, they really don’t mind you taking pictures, a small tip is always appreciated.
So as you can see as a diver, diving these different places in Bali, you don’t only enjoy yourself but you always contribute to the local community directly.
Another example are the boats we use in Padang Bay and Amed, the captains used to be fishermen, now they make their income by bringing you to your dive destination, and instead of fishing the reefs they protect them.
In Joe’s world there’s no better way than working together with everyone like this.