Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Red Cross provided permanent homes and livelihood support for 48 tsunami affected families

48 families in Lunawa . Moratuwa in Colombo district of Sri Lanka , who lost their homes during the tsunami 2004 and up to now living in temporary shelters, became the happy families that moved in today to new permanent houses built by the Red Cross.

48 apartments in six blocks comprising of common amenities such as water supply, electricity and roads is a project initiated by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and funded by the Spanish Red Cross with an investment of 70 million rupees were declared open by Minister of Land and Land Development Hon. Jeewan Kumaratunga.

The Minister said that 3400 houses in Moratuwa division were destroyed by the tsunami and the government faced several challenges in finding land to resettle affected families. He stated that support of several organizations including Red Cross was a great strength to them in overcoming those problems. The minister commended the massive Red Cross tsunami recovery intervention programme launched through out the country.

Country Coordinator of Spanish Red Cross Ines Dalmau said that all families of Lunawa site as well as vulnerable families of host communities were benefiting from the livelihood and social development programme. "The programme supports the development of business plans and provide entrepreneurship development training. Later feasible business programmes are funded through cash grants." She further said.

"Some organizations rushed to Sri Lanka immediately after the tsunami. Their representatives stayed in five star hotels and left the country. But several organizations including the Red Cross stood by their commitment and worked for the benefit of affected people. I pay my gratitude to Sri Lanka Red Cross Society the Spanish Red Cross for the completion of this big project" the minister concluded.

Secretary of Colombo SLRCS branch Kithsiri Rathnapriya in his welcome address said that Red Cross effort would not confine to building house for these families but they would be supported to begin a new life with livelihood help.