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Re-building - Aranayaka

AranaykeMany countries in the world face constant problems with natural disasters. Rebuilding after disasters is often difficult, and may take many years.
 
Many countries face difficulties with massive challenges occurred due to disasters. Sri Lanka faced a massive challenge with the landslide occurred on 17/05/2017 at Samasarakanda, Aranayaka. But it was an achievement to restore life in Aranayaka within a year with a proper management. As a developing country such disasters cause additional expenses to Sri Lanka, but the commitment of the government in this regard is admirable. Assistance provided by friendly foreign countries help in accelerating restoration of lives of people.


In the event of tsunami it would have taken years to restore lives of affected victims without the support of international community. 

Restoring of lives in Aranayaka has been commenced under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and guidance of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the contribution of government officials and security forces.

The most shocking natural disaster faced by Sri Lanka after the tsunami disaster that took place in 2004 is the landslide at Samasarakanda, Aranayaka. About 150 were dead and missing. Policy makers had to face serious challenges, in restoring life.

With the landslide at Samasarakanda about 2000 families in risk had to be evacuated as it was declared a high-risk area by the National Building Research Institute. Construction of new homes for them on the direct government engagement has already begun. LRC lands, state-owned lands, plantation lands, nationalized lands, and private lands were selected on this purpose.

1960 families in high-risk areas in Kegalle District have been identified to be provided 305 acres of land and 200 acres have already been provided while another 105 acres of land will be provided soon.

60 acres of land for 571 families in high-risk situation in Aranayaka Divisional Secretary's Division is to be provided and 40 acres out of them have already been provided.

571 houses will be built for the people that were affected by Aranayaka landslides. It is not an easy task. The project has been accelerated by the government and due to the support of various parties the project has been implemented successfully. Construction of 100 houses, with the aids of the Chinese Government, a long-time friend of Sri Lanka, has already been initiated and the Habitat Institute offers a housing complex consisting of 80 houses. The Rhino Roofing granted financial assistance to build Aranayaka Wasantegama Housing project and it was vested on people under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the other day.

Allocations by government to build houses for victims of Aranayaka landslide are being provided as instalments and the government is monitoring its progress. A selected family will be given Rs. 1.2 million. Attention has focused on providing infrastructure, including drinking water for these housing projects.

The government pays its attention on rebuilding livelihood of people in Aranayaka area as well.  A special program has been implemented with the support of the International Red Cross Society. A selected family will be granted Rs. 55,000 of financial assistance, and livelihood training, assistance to identify market opportunities and coordination will be done by International Red Cross Society. The Livelihood Development Programme is implemented as a combined project by International Red Cross and public sector. The data collection, program implementation, monitoring and follow up will be done with direct intervention of public sector.

The effort of the government to give back everything lost by people except the lost lives due to Aranayake landslides is becoming a success. Residents express their gratitude to the government and other local and foreign interveners in making this success.

L.P. Thilakaratne
Government Information Department

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