Cruise ship seafarers coming home to Indonesia are being supported by ITF-affiliated union Kesatuan Pelaut Indonesia (KPI), thanks to a £8,760 Covid emergency grant from the Seafarers’ Trust.
Crews flying home via Bali are being held by the government for Covid-19 tests. Those arriving at night are quarantined for 6-8 hours while they are processed and tested.
KPI’s local branch is helping the Bali Covid-19 Task Force to process the returning seafarers – around 200-300 per day. The union is using the grant to provide food, water and soft drinks for crew members in quarantine, and to provide safety equipment for the union representatives that are meeting returning seafarers.
KPI is also working to prevent discrimination and stigmatization on their return to their home villages. The union is working with local government and health departments and mediating to reassure the crews’ home communities that returning seafarers do not present an infection risk.
KPI’s Welfare Manager Brant Connors said “Our seafarers have been through so much already since the start of this pandemic. We want to make sure that they are looked after on this final part of their journey home. We’re so thankful for the Trust’s support with this project.”
According to KPI Bali Branch Chairman I Dewa Putu Susila, KPI has assisted the safe repatriation of 20,297 seafarers into Bali, via the Port of Benoa and Ngurah Rai International Airport. “Our goal is to make their return home to their families as safe and smooth as possible within this situation. And, of course, we have more to do as there are still many Indonesian seafarers waiting to return home.”
“Cruise ship crews have been at the sharp end of this crisis. By smoothing their journey home and helping them integrate back into their communities, the KPI is making a big difference for these seafarers. We’re pleased to have been able to support this union-led project.” said Katie Higginbottom, Head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust.
Read more here about the ITF Seafarers’ Trust Covid-19 Welfare fund