'Kheldho' float supported by GIZ's CMPA project and the Goa Forest Department steals the limelight at the Goa Carnival 2016

08 Feb, 2016

'Kheldho' float supported by GIZ's CMPA Project and the Goa Forest Department glittered at the Goa Carnival 2016 parade. The Carnival was held from 6-9 February in full festive mood, with decorations and illuminations.The float, which captivated the attention of thousands of tourists in four towns of Goa, was made entirely out of waste and represented a unique fish species the Mudskipper, locally known as 'Kheldho'.

This year, over 4,00,000 tourists attended the Goa Carnival
Photo credit: Mr. Jagan Khursule

The Mudskipper, which is under threat, is found on the muddy banks of Goa's backwater, spends more time on land than in water and its survival is closely linked to the health of Goa’s estuaries and mangroves. The tableau highlighted the range of pressures including pollution from plastics, untreated sewage, overfishing, wetland and mangrove reclamation that our rivers and backwaters suffer from and the impacts it has on local livelihoods such as fisheries.

Kheldho’s head was built from papier-mâché and flattened beer cans
Photo credit: Dr. Aaron Lobo

The GIZ-CMPA project is working closely with the Goa Forest Department in improving the management of coastal and marine ecosystem of Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, by involving the stakeholders at local levels. The CMPA project's team along with the officials of the Forest Department are developing a mangrove interpretation facility in the sanctuary, as well as formulating a tourism management plan for the Chorao island. The overall goal of the CMPA Project is to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in selected areas along the coast of India.

Kheldho's tail was made out of used wire mesh and flattened beer cans
Photo credit: Mr. Jagan Khursule

The float was designed by Ms. Aradhana Seth in Goa and was executed in close collaboration with GIZ's Technical Advisor, Dr. Aaron Lobo along with staff and officials of the Goa Forest Department.

Mud monster - Aaron quizzing the masses about the materials used to build the float during the carnival parade
Photo credit: Sylvester D'souza


'Kheldho' also made highlights in the national media.

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