Rebuilding of the tsunami damaged houses under the UN-habitat program commenced recently in Galle and Kattandkudy. This program funded by the Government of Japan is implemented by the UN-Habitat in association with the Urban Development and Water Supply Ministry.
UN-Habitat has already identified nine locations within the Galle city for the rebuilding program and work has already commenced in three locations and work will be commenced shortly in other locations.
During the first phase of the program a total of 540 houses will be rebuild in Galle. In Katttandkudy work commenced in six settlements where 173 damaged houses will be rebuild under this program. The number of houses will be increased to 200 within the next two weeks.
Habitat will undertake similar projects in Batticoloa, Killinochichi and Jaffna. The rebuilding programme is implemented through the city offices, established under the UN-Habitat project for the Rebuilding of Community Infrastructure and Shelter.
The objectives of the project comprises immediate assistance to communities and local governments to restart functioning to assist communities rebuild their infrastructure and housing to begin normal life enabling them to recover from the trauma of tsunami.
Habitat will also assist communities to rebuild and repair their houses, community infrastructure, services and livelihoods.
Under this program the affected communities are encouraged to form their own Community Development Councils (CDC) to manage the reconstruction program. These councils will meet regularly and articulate their needs and priorities. The physical works thus identified will be carried out by the CDCs under community contracts with technical inputs from the staff of the local authority and the UN-Habitat.
At the inaugural ceremony held at Siyambalawatta, a badly damaged settlement within the Galle Municipal limits, the community leaders expressed their support for the participatory approach adopted by the Habitat.
Addressing the gathering City manager informed the community that more assistance could be obtained if the first stage could be completed successfully.
Government of Japan has pledged a total sum of US $ 3 million for this rebuilding program of the UN-Habitat.