Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sri Lanka: Japan funds for two social development projects for tsunami affected people in east and south areas

The Government of Japan provided a sum of US$ 69,355 (approximately Rs. 7.5 million) towards two social development projects namely, "Infrastructure Development for Tsunami Affected People in Ampara District" and "Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Participation in Mainstream Development for the Differently Abled Persons in Hambantota District". The signing of the Grant Contracts took place at the Embassy of Japan on 15th February 2007 between His Excellency Mr. Kiyoshi Araki, Ambassador of Japan and the representatives of the two respective organizations. Mr. Douglas Nanayakkara, Director/Registrar, National Secretariat for Non Governmental Organization, Ministry of Social Service & Social Welfare and Dr. Yuji Miyahara, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan and officials of each Organization were also present at the ceremony. The two projects are as follows;

1. "Infrastructure Development for Tsunami Affected People in Ampara District"
The tsunami that struck the island in 2004 has caused much destruction to people, property, and the environment. Ampara is one of the worst affected Districts with a highest number of deaths. A number of rehabilitation and reconstruction projects have been implemented since the tsunami. However, there are more needs such as development of small-scale infrastructure to be fulfilled.

Under the project, construction of a community center in Sainthamaruthu and renovation of rural road in Maruthamunai will be implemented. The Community Center with sanitary facilities will be utilized to conduct a pre-school for children affected by the tsunami. It also will be used to conduct community meetings and health clinics for tsunami affected people in the area. The renovation of rural road will improve the living condition of the people and facilitate easy access to schools and market places, which will benefit over thousands of people living in the Ampara District.

The project is to be implemented by the Rural Development Foundation (RDF). This is the third such occasion where the Government of Japan has provided funds to RDF for rural development projects in Ampara and Mannar.

2. "Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Participation in Mainstream Development for the Differently Abled Persons in Hambantota District"

The project in Hambantota is aimed at providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to differently abled persons.

Although policies and legislations in the country are adequate, implementation has not been effective enough. In the field level, there is a shortage of volunteers who could conduct comprehensive rehabilitation.

In this context, the project has designed to provide training for 30 volunteers on community based rehabilitation including proper identification of differently abledd persons, collect and maintain records, assist in providing physio therapy mainly for children, etc. Under the project, seminars are also to be organized for 80 government officials from 25 Grama Niladhari divisions of Ambalantota Division and other 30 officials attached to the organizations of differently abled peoples on capacity building. In addition, necessary materials for rehabilitation such as Prosthetics, Orthotics and other mobility aid are also to be procured utilizing the funds.
The project will benefit over 16,000 persons living in Ambalantota, Okewela and Tangalle Divisions.

Navajeevana, a national Non-governmental Organization (NGO) established in 1987, has been engaged in offering holistic care at grassroots level to differently abled persons, and will implement the project with the support from the community.

The Government of Japan gives priority for social development through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) scheme implemented in Sri Lanka based on its recognition that sustainable economic development can only be achieved under stable social environment.

Source: Government of Japan

Date: 15 Feb 2007

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