Two million benefitted by tsunami projects
Four years after the tsunami, the International Federation of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Sri Lanka (IFRC) together with the
Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) has completed 223 tsunami recovery
projects across the country, benefiting nearly two million people, a
According to the IFRC's Four Year Progress Report, the most
significant achievement has been in the area of permanent housing. The
Red Cross has supported the construction of 22,665 houses.
By the first quarter of 2009, 32,886 houses will be built with Red
Cross funding. This represents 27 per cent of the 120,000 houses damaged
or destroyed by the tsunami, it said.
"We have adopted an integrated approach linking houses with water and
sanitation, health services, roads, income sources and other essential
factors," Sri Lanka Red Cross Society President Jagath Abeysinghe said.
A nursing school with 31 hospitals and a health centre have been
built or rehabilitated under an agreement with the Health Ministry to
reconstruct 69 health facilities across the country.
Over 200,000 people now have access to an improved water source.
Pipeline projects in the Galle, Matara and Ampara districts have
connected new resettlement sites and surrounding villages to the main
water supply for the first time.
Major investment has also been made to restore and improve the
livelihoods of the tsunami affected.
The Red Cross has completed approximately 40 livelihood projects
under which 36,460 households were supported to recover, strengthen the
diversify their livelihoods.
R. Janaka Chaminda from Beruwela was once depended on fishing for his
The Red Cross assisted to rebuild his home with seeds, tools and
agricultural training to start a market garden.
With 10 perches to cultivate, Janaka now grows 16 types of fruit and
vegetables. "This is my livelihood now," he says as he proudly shows off
his garden and new home.
"I grow spinach, mint, pomegranates and watermelons."
"We are now shifting towards long team development programmes in
areas such as disaster management and community based First Aid which
strengthen the capacity of local people to respond to future crisis,"
Paul Emes, Head of delegation for the IFRC said.