Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Sewalanka building 23% of transitional shelter island-wide

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Sewalanka Foundation is building 23% of the required 47,137 transitional shelters in the 11 tsunami-affected districts. Six months on and Sewalanka Foundation has completed 87% of shelters planned.

The destruction caused by the 26 December 2004 Asian Tsunami was widespread incorporating loss of life, infrastructure, livelihood and economic assets. Overall, 950km of the Sri Lankan coastline was affected. This impact is devastating as the coastal communities tend to be highly populated with those working in the tourist industry or vulnerable groups like poor fishermen living close to the shore in simple houses and shelters.

In the period immediately following the tsunami, Sewalanka mobilised its staff to offer initial support and basic necessities such as food and water to tsunami victims. Ensuring debris was cleared and the spread of disease was contained was also one of the initial goals of the organisation. After the initial emergency situation was overcome and basic provisions had reached affected families to a certain level, the most vital issue throughout these districts was the loss of shelter as the displaced families were living in the open in an extremely insecure situation.

In fact, Sewalanka recognised the need for quick provision of transitional shelter to reduce the stress levels upon already traumatized families living in emergency accommodation. Therefore working with government and existing international partners like German Agro Action and Japan Centre for Conflict Prevention or new partners like Concern Worldwide and DanChurchAid, Sewalanka Foundation was able to undertake initial assessments to determine what was required.

Mr Harsha Kumara Navaratne, Sewalanka's Chairman explains: "With the tsunami, people lost an incredible amount; in terms of lives, destruction to homes and belongings and livelihoods. Sewalanka's transitional shelters programs provide families with privacy, a sense of security and ownership. It is the opportunity for families to have a base while permanent shelter is negotiated so they can restart their lives again."


Sewalanka National Transitional Shelter Overview as at 28 June 2005
District
Transitional Shelter
% started/ completed
% of govt. total to be built by SLF (as per TAP)
Donor
Planned
Started/ completed
Ampara
935
613
66%
9%
DCA
Batticaloa
1,505
1,055
70%
15%
DCA
Trincomalee
1,348
1,317
96%
29%
GAA, PIN, JCCP
Hambantota
1,000
744
74%
78%
Concern
Matara
1,529
1.529
100%
64%
Concern
Galle
1,250
1,006
80%
20%
Concern
Kalutara/ Colombo
1,700
1,583
93%
28%
Concern
Jaffna
350
350
100%
10%
GAA
Killinochchi
550
500
100%
95%
GAA
Mullativu
600
600
100%
28%
GAA
10,767
9,347
87%
23%

Sewalanka Foundation Transactional Shelter Overview

On Wednesday 6 July 2005 , Sewalanka Foundation was invited by the Sri Lanka government TAFERN (Task Force for Rebuilding the Nation) team to present a national overview of our Transitional Shelter Program.

The press briefing was hosted by Mr. Tilak Ranaviraja, Head of TAFERN who also gave an overview of the government's efforts. The event was well attended by local and international media and Sewalanka Foundation's presentation was given by Mr. Tapan Barman, Director - Social Development.