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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. 

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sri Lanka status report - 25 Aug 2005

ReliefWeb - Document Preview: Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Date: 25 Aug 2005


FAO has been selected by the Government to be the official coordinator of fisheries in Sri Lanka. FAO has instituted regular NGO/Donor Coordination Meetings both in the fisheries and agricultural sectors to coordinate inputs distribution, avoid duplication of efforts and optimize sustainable outcomes from NGO assistance. In addition, FAO is working to promote sustainable recovery of these sectors to ensure that the appropriate standards are upheld and the funds are used effectively to leverage the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase.

FAO has distributed 1 898 fishing nets, 225 packed net kits complete with ropes, floats and twine, and 67 outboard engines, 100 eight-horsepower engines to 430 beneficiaries in Jaffna, Galle, and Tangalle. FAO has purchased 655 outboard engines, 434 of which have been received and will soon be delivered. A new tender for fishing gear for approximately US$4.5 million will be issued in early August. To date, orders valued at US$5 174 347 have been placed with local and international suppliers for delivery between now and the end of November 2005. Ordered items include US$730 587 of boat repair materials, US$1 782 773 of fishing gear, US$873 350 of outboard engines, US$509 164 of inboard and outboard engine spare parts.
FAO contributed to the repair of 4 002 fishing boats and 1 084 engines through its partnership with Cey-Nor Foundation, the state-owned boatyard. Another contract with Cey-Nor for an amount of US$325 203 will cover government costs for repairing up to 2 650 boats and 3 350 engines (inboard and outboard). Two contracts worth US$509 164 have been signed with suppliers for spare parts to repair outboard and inboard engines. In early June, FAO distributed approximately US$95 000 worth of boat repair material to the Cey-Nor repair centres in Beruwala, Galle, Matara, Kudawella, Tangalle and Kalmunai.
A first cycle of tenders were issued in March 2005 and includes fishing gear, outboard engines and spare parts, repair materials for boats, inboard engine spare parts, vehicles, motorcycles, and office and communication equipment. To date, items for a total of US$2 196 197 have been supplied; inputs under delivery are boat repair materials, fishing gear, agricultural inputs (salinity equipment, seeds, fertilizer and tools) and office equipment.
An in-service training programme in nutrition and food processing was held at Vavuniya in July. The main objective was to provide support to increase food security and nutrition during emergencies as well as to build the capacity of local people to promote nutrition and livelihood opportunities. The agriculture programme also strengthened its coordination capabilities at district level.

FAO has distributed 2 000 kits of quality vegetable seeds to the district authorities for the Yala 2005 planting season. Each of the 2 000 beneficiaries targeted for the distribution received 270 grammes of vegetable seeds that should produce 400 kgs of vegetables. The seed was generated through seed farms rehabilitated by FAO. The beneficiaries targeted, some of which are now also tsunami victims, were returnees displaced by the former conflict in the North and East. The seeds were also distributed to people living in camps where cultivation can be carried out at a community level. In addition, FAO delivered 540m of flexihose and accessories to the Agrarian Service Centre (ASC) in Trincomalee. The ASC will use the equipment to rehabilitate saline wells on Sri Lanka's eastern coast under supervision of the provincial agricultural department.
The distribution of rice seed and appropriate fertilizer to 1 668 farmers in Galle, Matara and Hambantota for the current "Yala" planting season is now completed. Orders have been placed for vegetable seed for an additional 560 farmers in these districts which will be targeted to those who lost homestead gardens as a result of the tsunami floods. 14 810 handtools worth of US$56 000 were distributed to Tsunami affected farmers through the Ministry of Agriculture. These tools, including 12 394 hoes and 2 416 sickles, were handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Lands and Irrigation (MALLI) in April. Another 9 250 hoes have been ordered, of which 8 150 have been distributed to homestead garden farming families by the districts (Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Trincomalee, Batticaloa). Three solar refrigerators were delivered to the three veterinary offices in Mullaitivu. The refrigerators are replacements for the ones destroyed by the tsunami and will be used to store vaccines and other veterinary equipment. FAO's agriculture programme is now preparing for the upcoming Maha planting season. The programme is preparing to provide tsunami-affected farmers in seven districts (Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Galle, Hambantota and Matara) with seeds, fertilizer and livestock.

FAO has assessed the forestry-related requirements and reconstruction needs of the tsunami-affected areas of Sri Lanka. Issues of extent of damage, fuelwood availability and timber for reconstruction of houses were looked at carefully and from these initial assessments, FAO is developing forestry proposals based on the recommendations of the assessments, which include: the need for an overall assessment, coastal area management, planting of coastal shelterbelts, rehabilitation of home gardens, extension programmes and village wood working mills.

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