Saturday, 9 October 2010

A visit to Eastern Sri Lanka

What an amazing journey to the East of Sri Lanka this week where I visited the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara and en route, Polonnaruwa and Kegalle. The Red Cross and Red Crescent movement has spent over US$ 700 million on an enormous Tsunami recovery and reconstruction programmes in Sri Lanka. During this journey I saw many of the 31,047 permanent houses we have constructed through an approach that integrates various sectors - such as water and sanitation, livelihoods, health and care and disaster management. See photo of water programme below.
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society supported by IFRC, has layed over 200 kilometres of water pipe currently bringing  clean water to over 100,000 families in Ampara. This 10 million US dollar programme should be completed by mid 2011, and then, 200, 000 families will benefit. Photo: Bob McKerrow

With the permanent housing programme quickly approaching its completion, Red Cross Red Crescent
partners have focussed on rebuilding and reconstructing health infrastructure facilities which include a
list of 69 projects being undertaken in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. The International
Federation has undertaken 14 of these projects. The scope of work includes the construction of new
buildings, and the renovation and refurbishment of existing health facilities together with the supply of
new medical equipment. The International Federation has made solid progress in completing seven
health facilities which are located in the south and south eastern parts of Sri Lanka.
In support of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) reconstruction programme, 26
major water and sanitation infrastructure projects have been committed to by Red Cross Red Crescent
partners. Many of these water and sanitation projects are highly complex projects, such as laying
pipeline networks to new resettlement areas. Targeted tsunami-affected families will only get access to
the improved water sources once the entire project is finalized and water is connected to the
catchment areas.

A pipe dream of the Red Cross has brought a healthier life style to over half a million people in Ampara, and with it, SLRCS volunteers go from village prooting improved hygiene. The health promotion tream below. Photo: Bob McKerrow
The Red Cross health promotion team in Ampara. Photo: Bob McKerrow

One of the roles of our visit was to carry out regular monitoring and evaluation. On the left, Klaus Palkovitz inspecting the pipe joining and checking the pipe cementing process. Photo: Bob McKerro

A silversmith in the village of Onthachimadam inside his recently completed Red Cross house. Photo: Bob McKerrow

In the next room, his wife is making a basket,  a supplementary source of income for the family.  Photo: Bob McKerrow

Hospital funded by Irish Red Cross in Ampara. {hot: Bob McKerrow

Tree planting at Ismailpuram - 193 houses (100 German Red Cross, 93 IFRC) have been built.
This is a ommunity Engagement Programme – Community Centre, Open Market, Childrens Playground, Tree Planting, Capacity Building of Community Based Organisation, Closure with Government Stakeholders, Construction of Water Storage, pumping system and pipelines from nearby water storage tower to RC/RC housing estate.

Market place at Ismailpuram. Photo: Bob McKerrow

Tree planting at Ismailpuram, Ampara district . Children's playground in the background.Phot: Bob McKerrow
Yesterday. Friday morning we conducted a communication, reporting and monitoring and evaluation for all our staff in the Ampara office: Participants in a group exercise above. Photo: Bob McKerrow

Ampara Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) and the Nurses Training School in the far top left corner. The home provides accomdation for 350 nurses at the Ampara hospital. The project is funded by the Norwegian Red Cross.

The Tsunami programme has been building Sri Lanka Red Cross district branch buildings which was destroyed by the tsunami. This is the building in Batticaloa built by the Italian Red Cross. Here the SLRCS conduct skills training in information technology, carpentry and dress making. Photo: Bob McKerrow

So it has been a fascinating week visiting Eastern Sri Lanka and to see our programme swiftly nearing completion. However, my worries are now for our programmes for internally displaced people in the north of Sri Lanka, where we are having difficulty finding funding. The programme is designed to assist approximately 5,000 families (25,000 people) for 24 months; this operation is expected to be completed by 12 April, 2012
An emergency appeal was launched in April seeking CHF 3.4 million  in cash, kind.  . To date we are only 40% covered. If you would like to donate funds, here is the link. It is a very reliable system.


Marja said...

I had a student from Sri lanka here and told her about your fantastic work you are doing overthere. The buildings look great. It loos also nice and warm overthere We just had a big hail storm today

Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Yes, I read about the snow and hail. Yes the building are very good, and serving the people in health, education and recreation. Keep warm, Bob

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