Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Weekly Humanitarian Overview - Galle District No. 2, 11 - 17 Jul 2005

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HIGHLIGHTS
Camps with tents in Galle Four Gravats are steadfastly being removed as the last batch of transitional shelters are being completed. As reported by the Transitional Accommodation Project (TAP) in Galle, there are still 231 families in tents, while 4556 shelters have been completed. Finding sufficient land in Galle Four Gravats is part of the reason for the delay in the movement from tents to transitional shelter, the Shelter Working Group in Galle District can be optimistic that solutions will be found after discussions with Mr. Tilak Ranaviraja, Head of TAP Colombo. Moreover, Mr Ranaviraja held a plenary meeting in Galle on Thursday 14 July on 'Improvements to Transitional Shelters' for the three districts in the South, attended by the District Secretaries of Galle, Matara and Hambantota.

HOUSING AND SHELTER

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) distributed policy guidelines for rehabilitation and reconstruction of tsunami affected areas. Policy Guidelines for housing particularly for a price band states that the minimum size of a house will be 500sq ft, at a cost of Rs 600,000. These houses are to be provided with all basic infrastructure facilities such as access road, water, electricity, sewage. Furthermore, all housing will be planned as settlements equipped with playgrounds, recreation areas, commercial facilities and other basic services. Discussions held by the Permanent Housing Working Group were more concerned about standard quality used in the building of the houses, not so much on the figures of a price band, but more on standards of materials used, features given in the design, so as not incite social tension and jealousy amongst neighbourhoods and communities on which organization has provided them with 'better' houses.

So far in Galle District , 88 permanent houses on new site has been completed, with 639 houses in progress. The required amount of new houses in Galle is 5,568 houses.

A site visit to Walahanduwa in Galle four Gravats was conducted by the District Secretary and UDA to discuss problems regarding suitability of land.

Interested organizations were invited to participate and discuss the issues that were seen to be a hindrance for immediate construction.

A site visit to Walahanduwa in Galle Division was organized by Urban Development Authority (UDA) with the Galle District Secretary on Tuesday 12 July, Among the participants were UN Habitat, World Vision, and pictured here, the Spanish Red Cross. Walahanduwa is a 90-acre land planned for 615 units, but suitability of land is still being resolved,

EDUCATION

The provision of Semi Permanent School buildings for Tsunami Affected schools in Galle District.

There are 11 schools in Galle Education Zone and 15 schools in Ambalangoda Education Zone affected by Tsunami in Galle district. Buildings in some school are totally damaged and some are partially damaged.

Construction of permanent buildings in place of damaged buildings will take another six months or more to complete. In the meantime, there is a lack of class room facilities, and children are finding it extremely difficult to concentrate on their studies as the limited number of available class rooms are over crowded. It was found essential to provide them with semi permanent school buildings to conduct classes until permanent buildings are put-up.

UNICEF responded to the request made by the provincial department of education to construct 10 semi-permanent buildings in five schools in Galle Education zone to facilitate 40 class rooms. Approximately 1,600 students will directly benefit from the semi permanent buildings. The total estimated cost for these 10 schools buildings is Rs 3,000,000.

Of the ten school buildings five buildings have already been completed and handed over to the respective schools. Work on the remaining five schools is in progress. The semi permanent buildings can last more than five years and the buildings can be put to use for various extra curricular activities even after the completion of permanent buildings.

In addition, UNICEF have provided school desks and chairs, uniforms, school bags, drink bottles, lunch boxes and teaching and learning aids to these schools.

Other organizations involved in building of semipermanent classrooms are SED Galle/ Caritas International, Adopt Sri Lanka, Project Galle 2005, Sewa Lanka, Hikkaduwa Area Relief Fund, with various donor funding from the Italian Civil Protection and Government, JICA, and Rotary International among others. (contributed by UNICEF Area Office Galle)

Vocational Training in Galle District

Infancia Sin Fronteras (Children without Borders) has four main projects in Galle District Supplying of a daily breakfast to over 1.500 children in several schools of Galle District which has been conducted since February, and has helped to reduce absentees in schools. To encourage more school attendance ISF will continue the programme for at least one year. ISF have also completed three new classrooms in Panchaliya Maha Vidyalaya, and a new building at

Neth Savan Sarana K.V.

Panchaliya Maha Vidyalaya now has renovated floors, roofs, mesh, electricity and water facilities, and renovated teachers´ area. ISF will also begin construction of a dining hall and kitchen with a capacity for 300 children. Along with these facilities and services, medical assistance will be ensured. There are also plans to cooperate with the nearby rural hospital, or as an alternative, ISF will build new medical dispensary once approved by local authorities.

Renovations of a Primary School in Hapugala Kanitu Viduhala is also underway. Hapugala, Wackwella is one of the oldest schools in the area (built in 1892). ISF is providing water and electricity and building toilets. ISF will add to its curriculum English

Language as a new subject lesson for the students. There are already 13 new applicants for entry to the school as a result to the activities ISF had started.

The next step for ISF is to provide vocational training and computer skills to children and teenagers/ young adults of the area, with the criteria of those who are in a difficult position to afford learning skills and to find a job when they finish school. The Yashodara Balika Home is an orphanage for girls, and the girls must leave the orpahange at the age of 18. Also the Handloom Weaving Centre in Kathaluwa, Ahangama in Galle District. The programme will include use of computer, Word, Excel, internet facilities and other means of communication and correspondence, and basic skills on the computer. With adequate professional training, a better future is hoped to be provided for the young adults of Galle District. This programme will also be supported by the French NGO, Telecom Sans Frontieres (TSF).

DRAINAGE AND IRRIGATION

Renovation of Irrigation Canals by World Vision in Ahangama Palmon Canal

During the week, World Vision was able to complete a major part of the Palmon Canal clearing project, which is one of the 14 irrigation renovation projects undertaken by World Vision out of the 15 irrigation canals, affected by the Tsunami. The Palmon Canal, which is one of the major irrigation canals in the area, was the main source of water to nearly 250 acres of paddy cultivation in the nearby fields. The tsunami waters had submerged the canal and the water, which was mixed with saline water, had caused the growth of reeds, which totally covered the canal. As result of it this paddy field, which was once one of the most flourishing paddy fields, unable to be cultivated.

The reeds were carefully removed so as not to alter the level of the canal using excavators. Subsequently the plants, which were still remaining, were removed from the canal using laborers on cash for work basis.

As a result of World Vision clearing the passage for the water to flow to the paddy cultivations the farmers were able to reap their usual harvest. Further the threat of mosquito borne diseases which could have increased if the canal was not cleared, was eliminated. (contributed by World Vision Lanka)

OTHER NEWS

On Wednesday 13 July, Mr. Tilak Ranaviraja, Minister of Public Security Law and Order, also appointed as Head of the Transitional Accommodation Project (TAP), visited the Dadalla transitional shelter site of Amurt International, along with the District Secretary Mr Asoka Jayasekera.

UN Habitat also held an inauguration ceremony in the nearby area of a first stone-laying of a community centre in Walwatta, Dadalla. The Community Centre serves as a central meeting point for the community. It also functions as a day-care centre for children, a health room, hopefully in the future facilities to function as a maternity room. UN Habitat works in eight communities of which all will be assisted in the re-building of the Community Centres.

WHAT'S NEW ON HIC SRI LANKA

See the online version at: http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/srilanka

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12 JULY 2005 -COASTAL WETLANDS INFORMATION PAPER NO. 12
12 JULY 2005 -GALLE MEETING SCHEDULE 04 - 08 JULY
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11 JULY 2005 -WEEKLY OVERVIEW- GALLE DISTRICT 04 -10 JULY
11 JULY 2005 -UNICEF PRESS RELEASE 08 JULY 05
11 JULY 2005 -FISHERIES & AGRICULTURE COORDINATION MEETING MINUTES 28 JUNE
11 JULY 2005 -BATTICALOA WATER AND SANITATION COORDINATION MEETING MINUTES 27 JUNE
11 JULY 2005 -GALLE MEETING MINUTES 23 JUNE
11 JULY 2005 -OCHA SITREP 01-07 JUL

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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