Sri Lanka

Humanitarian Situation Report - Sri Lanka: 29 Jul - 04 Aug 2005

Overall Situation

FAO and the Italian Cooperation concluded a workshop last week designed to put in place mechanisms for the development of model coastal communities in Hambantota, Ampara and Batticaloa districts. The workshop included 15 experts from 6 countries. Various agencies were represented including FAO, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, University of Peradeniya, STREAM Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia Pacific (Thailand), National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka and A.P. Remote Sensing Application Centre (India). The workshop developed the mechanism the project will use to ensure full participation of the communities involved in the project

UNHCR is conducting a series of training programmes for gender mainstreaming for the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) volunteers who work in relocation sites in Mullaitivu and Vadamarachchi East. It intends to conduct six training sessions -- three in Mullaitivu and three in Vadamarachchi East. The Trainings in Vadamarachchi East is being conducted at Sempiyanpattu, Thalaiyady and Kaddaikkadu.

UNICEF participated in a meeting with the Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) LTTE in Kilinochchi district to discuss the progress of tsunami reconstruction work, livelihoods and the environment. PDS underlined the importance of the sustainability of activities and the enhancement of the local economy.

Water and Sanitation

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by UNICEF, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply and the Ministry of Finance that outlines the cooperation agreement between the agencies to ensure the smooth implementation of water and sanitation activities, effective 22 June until the end of December 2007. The MoU encompasses the activities of the three-year plan for post-tsunami rehabilitation which was drafted in April 2005.

UNICEF has provided an update on some of its water and sanitation activities:

In Ampara, a field assessment report of the Water Board reveals that 77 water bowsers and nine package treatment plants are functioning in the district. Approximately 840m3 of water is distributed in 482 locations everyday serving over 42,000 people. A total number of 5,127 dug wells have been cleaned and disinfected by 15 different implementing agencies. An additional 300 water service connections in Kalmunai, Saithamaruthu and Karaitivu were completed during the reporting period, bringing the total to 3,500 service connections benefiting approximately 17,000 people. In Batticaloa, two gully emptiers have arrived through the Assistant Commissioner for Local Government. An additional bathing tank was constructed in the Kallady Veloor Transitional camp, which fulfills the bathing requirement for this camp. Two tube wells were constructed in Karabala and Palamunai IDP Camps. Six additional toilets were constructed in Shiharam Camp at Palamunai, which fulfills the toilet requirements for this camp. In Galle, ten toilets and bathing spots for 28 families were completed in Matara Weragampita transitional shelters and four toilet units in Hambantota Dharmakabeer mosque transitional camp have also been completed. Work has commenced for the provision of another 10 toilets for the benefit of 80 families at Weligama transitional shelter in Matara District In Kilinochchi, GTZ and UNICEF will collaborate on the provision of toilets for 100 houses, to complement GTZ's second phase of a resettlement scheme in Thadduvankoddy, which will provide 100 additional houses, a school and a preschool to the area. In the initial phase of the scheme, GTZ assisted in the provision of 110 houses with toilets, 2.2 km of road, water supply, community centres and a channel to draw water from a river to a tank. UNICEF and ZDE are also discussing collaborating to provide water and sanitary facilities for a temporary school in Allipallai village, where conflict-affected families have relocated.


IOM and the local NGO Sun Flower Village conducted a one-day eye health camp in Matara for the tsunami-affected on 1 August. A mobile unit of optometrists and doctors from the two organizations screened residents from six camps in Matara, Dandra and Dickwella divisions for eye problems including infections, refractive errors and cataracts.

A WHO / UNICEF initiative to provide a standard and effective vaccine store management system using the Vaccine Management Assessment tools, was recently initiated in Sri Lanka. The objectives of the assessment are as follows: to assess the management performance of the primary vaccine store and vaccine management at different levels of the cold chain distribution system in Sri Lanka; to recommend a mode of action to improve the management performance in the identified areas during the assessment; to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve the quality of the vaccine storage and distribution system.

In Ampara, Public Health Inspectors have commenced chlorinating all dug wells as per instructions from the Ministry of Health.The Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services Kalamunai requested UNICEF to support their office with four additional personnel (three field supervisors and a data entry operator) who will supervise the construction of toilets in transitional shelters and camps; supervise the cleaning of 10,000 wells; train field workers and a mason; collect data and prepare the weekly report for the WATSAN coordination meeting; and, liaise with implementing NGOs to maintain the minimum standards of construction.

Non-food items and shelter

During a recent Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) meeting in Kilinochchi, PDS announced that it would soon publish a hand book regarding construction strategies. It also stated that architectural drawings and soil testing are essential for all construction projects.


The Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) will lay the foundation for 36 permanent pre-schools in the North and East Provinces for a project costing US$ 210,000 with funds provided by SCiSL.

UNICEF launched a National Survey on Emerging Issues Amongst Adolescents in Sri Lanka Report in mid-July under the patronage of the Minister of Health Nimal Siripala De Silva. A UNICEF supported weekly live radio programme for adolescents entitled, 'Kasungira' in partnership with the Health Education Bureau and LakHanda Radio, complete 100 programmes on 30 July. A one-day workshop, with the participation of adolescents and resource persons, was conducted to plan the future programming of the radio show, "Kasungira - beyond 100".

The Ministry of Education organised a three-day national workshop in Ratnapura to train provincial resource teams to implement the Child Friendly School project. Six provincial teams consisting of 48 trainers participated. The incorporation of the Child Friendly School concepts and the rights-based approach to improve the quality of education was highlighted.


SCiSL together with the Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries distributed 300 coir yarning machines in Matara during the June-July period.

FAO and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (MFAR) distributed close to 900 fishing nets and 67 engines to 130 tsunami-affected fishers in Galle this past week as part of a project funded by the Government of Japan. Beneficiaries selected by MFAR were given vouchers varying from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000, depending on the size of their boats. The beneficiaries in Galle then chose a combination of nets according to their preference from the US$39 256 stock of nets provided by FAO through Japanese funding. Also approximately US$95,890 worth of 9.9- and 15-horsepower engines were provided to fishers who lost their engines as a result of last the tsunami.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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