Sri Lanka has completed a major part of the reconstruction of tsunami-affected houses successfully. The loans for housing were given using World Bank funds and the housing projects were implemented by the District Secretaries of the affected areas, Chairperson, Reconstruction and Development Agency Shanthi Fernando told Sunday Island yesterday.
She said the total number of houses needed to be built for the tsunami affected people was 117,372 and the number of houses completed as at December 20 was 100,572. There were, however, 57,000 temporary shelters by the end of 2006 but now only 8,865 remained.
The latest number of houses completed in the Southern Province was 38,000, Western Province 2300, Eastern Province 53,400, Northern Province 6,500 and North Western Province 74, she noted. "By the end of 2006 the number of houses completed was 71,000 indicating that the progress made in 2007 was very satisfactory".
"Three years ago, when the tsunami caused devastation we did not have the mechanism to face the problem of construction of such vast number of houses at a rapid pace. Human resources too were lacking. The RADA only coordinated the reconstruction process, but government district officials and certain NGO's took up the challenges though there were many shortcomings, she said.
Though there were a large number of philanthropists who rushed to help the affected people they too did not know where they could help with the funds they had brought. Therefore, there could have been unavoidable problems even in the reconstruction of houses or other measures of relief given to the affected people, the Chairperson said.