The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has put out a comprehensive technical guideline for construction of houses and development of housing programmes in the coastal belt of the Sri Lanka in the context of recent tsunami disaster.
The guideline replete with details of background to coastal dwellings, novel construction methodologies identified for the coastal line, proposed physical planning, building materials to be utilized, and basic services etc, was presented to Minister of Housing and Construction Industry, by NHDA Chairman Parakrama Karunaratne recently at 'Sethsiripaya'. According to NHDA, at a time when state institutions, local and foreign non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions are co-operating with the government to reconstruct the houses destroyed by tsunami, the NHDA publication will be immensely helpful in identifying secure methodologies which are resistant to natural disasters. The guideline, in a special analytical exercise reveals data in respect of damages caused to houses and buildings in relation to the velocity of tidals, the situation and nature of the affected buildings including the building materials used for such destroyed and damaged structures.
This guideline helps the people living in coastal areas to plan out and develop their housing with adequate structural stability, aimed at reducing the risk of living in areas prone to tsunami or ocean waves that have a devastating effect on lives and property. It also addresses the safety issue of high wind velocities, an important concern for especially the North-East and South-West areas of the country. It also provides directions on identifying lands and physical planning and designing suited to given nature and elevation of the sites at various distances from the coastal line.