"Near the coast, the small house we lived in was completely destroyed by the tsunami. We lost everything and compelled to live in temporary shelters. But now , thanks to the Red Cross who came forward with this scheme, we are the proud owners of apartments complete with basic amenities such as electricity, water and even roads and sanitation . "And thanksto the Canadian Red Cross whose generous donation of furniture and kitchen utensils enable us to begin a new life" said Ms Asilin Nona , a widow of 70 and a mother of two daughters and grand mother to five. She was one of 56 beneficiaries who received new permanent apartments in a condominium built by the Red Cross in Ratmalana in Colombo.
The beneficiary families of the project, initiated by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and built with financial support of Rs. 110 million from Canadian Red Cross (CRC) and technical support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), collectively stated that that the housing they have nowwas far better than what they had prior to the tsunami.
At the handing over ceremony held today, the beneficiaries received the ownership certificates Minister Jeevan Kumaranatunga Land and Land development and several Red Cross representatives including Senior Manager / Construction IFRC John Wain ,Pamela Davie ,Acting Country Coordinator, Canadian Red Cross ,Tissa Abeywickrama Chairman Red Cross Task Force.
"The Red Cross supported us to overcome the big challenges we had faced after the tsunami", said the The Minister recalling the massive tsunami recovery programme undertaken by the Red Cross throughout the country and how affected communities throughout the devastated areas including them of Moratuwa Ratmalana benefited." It is our duty as peoples representatives to highly appreciate the contribution made by the Red Cross again and again.." the Minister emphasized..
Pamela Davie ,Acting Country Coordinator, CRC said that the donations given by Canadian people after hearing of the tsunami devastation were utilized to assist the affected people. "We have built 900 houses in Sri Lanka and have supported 10 hospital construction and Community Based Health programmes in 10 districts" she noted.