Sri Lanka hopes to finish building the majority of permanent houses for tsunami victims by the year's end, an official said Wednesday.
"Most of the affected families have moved from emergency shelters to transitional housing units," Mano Tittawella, chairman of the Presidential Task Force for Relief and Rebuilding the Nation told a news conference.
That's better than what they had before, he said, but "everyone is waiting impatiently to move into a permanent house and start rebuilding their lives."
The government hopes that will happen "by the end of the year."
He said 77,561 houses were either partially or completely damaged in the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean tsunami and the government has already signed 170 agreements with local and international donors to finance the construction of 36,600 houses.
He said however, acquisition of suitable land, planning, getting approval and hiring contractors could all be time consuming.
More than 31,000 Sri Lankans were killed and nearly 1 million displaced by the tsunami.