The tsunami rehabilitation effort is nearing completion with the Government and donor agencies being able to resettle more than 80 per cent of the victims and reconstruct most of the damaged infrastructure.
The December 26, 2004 tsunami killed nearly 40,000 people and rendered one million homeless in Sri Lanka. Only Indonesia had more casualties. Sri Lanka received US$ 1.13 billion from donor countries and agencies after the tsunami for reconstruction and the Government also poured in billions of rupees.
The Government has resettled over 80 per cent of the tsunami victims within three years all over the country under the tsunami resettlement and rehabilitation programme, Coordinating Director to the President on Post Tsunami Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Affairs Shanthi Fernando said.
Nearly 8,865 families are staying in 58 welfare camps throughout the country. They too will be resettled as the construction of 21,889 housing units is progressing fast. Compensation to construct a house for a tsunami victim family has been increased from Rs 500,000 to Rs. 700,000.
About 97 per cent of the partly damaged houses and 62 per cent of the fully damaged houses in seven districts have been completed. The reconstruction programme in the North and East is likely to take some more time.
Figures for December 2007, provided by the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), show that some 99,552 houses had been provided up to December this year out of the initial requirement of 117,372 units in the 13 districts that were affected.
Nearly all of the hospitals destroyed by the tsunami have been fully rebuilt and more than 100 schools have been re-opened.
The tsunami of 2004 damaged approximately 1,200 km of roads along the coast. The rehabilitation of the nearly 114 Km of tsunami-damaged southern coastal road to Matara has been completed.
The World Bank provided US$33 million (40 per cent in grant and 60 per cent in credit) for the reconstruction.
Overall, the total expended on some 710 projects in the 13 tsunami-affected districts has so far been US$ 633.8 million.