Setting up bee keeping project for disabled soldiers, Wathupitiwela [2003]
October 20, 2003
Handloom weaver [2006]
October 17, 2006

Response To The Tsunami Disaster Of 2004

Duwe Modera project (2005 -2008)

‘Restoring livelihoods Post-Tsunami’

In the aftermath of the destruction caused by the Tsunami, I/D/E/A/S turned its full attention to immediate relief efforts. However, within a few weeks, it was clear that priority must be directed towards reconstruction and rehabilitation as a matter of urgency.

People affected by the Tsunami needed to be targeted at several levels and degrees including:

  • Transferring of displaced persons from camps to private accommodation
  • Reconstruction of houses totally washed away by the Tsunami
  • Rehabilitation of small businesses, and livelihoods devastated by the Tsunami
  • Provision of extensive counselling and psychological treatment to cope with trauma
  • Identification of special treatment for affected children

Reviewing the enormity of the disaster, I/D/E/A/S decided to identify a village or small township using its professional capacity and resources to good effect instead of spreading its resources too thin in a large area. With this objective, Duwe-Modera in Kosgoda area in the Galle District, Southern Sri Lanka was identified. The project commenced with a group volunteers guided by senior Council Members in carrying out rehabilitation and reconstruction activities.

 

Rebuilding a Village: Duwe Modera village had a total population of 1,600 persons within 398 households. Of these, 50 had been washed away with others having suffered varying degrees of damage. I/D/E/A/S decided to select and support the construction of 12 houses totally destroyed belonging to the poorest in the community

Building houses: I/D/E/A/S Council assessed that the minimum requirement per family of 5 would be a 2 bed roomed house with a living and dining room, kitchen and toilet. The Council provided the architectural input for the design of the houses estimated to cost Rs 350,000. I/D/E/A/S pursuing its policy of encouraging self-help formulated the construction program on the basis of I/D/E/A/S providing the construction material and professional inputs with the community contributing artisan and unskilled labour inputs. This approach helped to motivate the community to co-operate restoring confidence from a state of hopelessness. On this basis I/D/E/A/S financed 12 houses up to Rs 250,000 each – a total of Rs 3 Mn.

In order to maintain the momentum, I/D/E/A/S included a Multi-purpose Community Center (Meeting hall, School building, IT training Center, space for Ante and Post natal Clinic, and Communication Center) fully equipped (furniture, Television, computer etc) to meet their felt needs. The Center, on completion at a cost of Rs 10.29 M was transferred to the Egoda Duwa Welfare Association under whose supervision it is now functioning.


Livelihood Restoration: Following the above, the project was expanded to include a livelihood restoration program costing Rs 1.5M to re-start small businesses and domestic income generating activities. Support was given to 25 families formerly engaged in carpentry, welding, cement brick making, small rice mills, coir weaving and horticulture.

The total cost of the above set of activities amounted to Rs 14.8 Million at that time. These funds were generously made available to I/D/E/A/S by (a) Community to Community (C2C) of London, Ontario, Canada and (b) the Rotary Club of Runswick, Maine, USA.

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