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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, August 29, 2005

A response to: NGO's delay tsunami housing

Sunday Observer: 28/08/2005"

Caritas Sri Lanka - SEDEC and SOS Children's Villages of Sri Lanka have responded to our news story with the above title which appeared last week on this page.

Caritas in a letter to the Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply and to the Urban Development Authority states that it is the Social Action Agency of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Sri Lanka affiliated to the Confederation of Caritas International. The letter states inter alia that as at July 15, 2005 MoUs had been signed in respect of 11 land allocations. Subsequently MoUs have been signed in respect of 5 more lands. It further states:

"Although MoUs have been entered in respect of 11 sites possession had been handed over in respect of only 4 lands and there too construction is not possible due to unresolved disputes.

"Since there is a delay in obtaining suitable state land, we have on our own purchased seven plots of land in Colombo, Galle, Beruwala, Kalutara, Chilaw and Batticaloa. So far the total money spent on purchasing lands is over Rs. 40.4 million. More than 80 homes were completed outside the buffer zones on private land and handed over to the beneficiaries in Kalutara and another 140 homes are under construction. We are planning to complete or at least commence construction on a target of 5,000 houses by December 26".

SOS Children's Villages of Sri Lanka says it has undertaken construction of 750, 263 and 130 housing units for tsunami victims in Komari Divisions I and II, Kayankerni and Iraalodai respectively but LTTE ompelled it to abandon the Iraalodai project.

It also says:

"SOS Sri Lanka has not bought any luxury vehicles nor leased any five star hotel rooms to accommodate expatriates or other officials of the organisation. Neither does the organisation have donor money intact in deposit accounts earning interest. Funds are received from SOS Kinderdorf International for Tsunami construction and relief work in stages, according to the progress made.

SOS Sri Lanka will not build sub-standard or interior houses, as contractors are committed to build according to the technical specifications and under supervision of our qualified consultants.

"The summary of progress in housing and infrastructure construction is as follows:

Units assigned: 1,013 (excluding Iraalodai)

Sites: 2

Work begun at sites: 2

Land units handed over: 585 (including 190 land units assigned to victims who do not wish to build their houses in the relocation site at Komari).

Progress outside the relocation site (Komari): 21 houses were completed. 15 houses undertaken for repairs and 5 houses were completed. Progress outside the relocation site (Kayankerny): 10 nos of foundation have been completed. 15 nos foundation trenches are in progress.

Progress within the relocation site (Komari): 200 nos plot have been set out. 60% of the internal roads have been marked and cleared. 10 nos. houses are set out. 4 nos foundation trenches are completed. 2 nos. house frames are erected. Progress within the relocation site (Kayankermy): 85 plots have been set out. Number of houses, which have been set out is 14. 5 nos. of foundation have been completed. 9 nos. foundation trenches are in progress.

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