Thanks to Australian Govt, UN-Habitat:
Shelter for the homeless
Australian Government, in partnership with the United Nations Human
Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT), has handed over one hundred houses
under the project ‘Shelter Support to Conflict Affected IDPs in Northern
Sri Lanka’ in Phase one in Kallaru village in Kilinochchi district last
Tuesday. The Australian High Commissioner H.E. Kathy Klugman and
Government officials, UN-HABITAT representatives and members of the
local communities participated in this opening ceremony.
Kallaru is one of the villages which got severely damaged during the
conflict and with the dawn of peace the Australian Government gave their
helping hand along with UN HABITAT by recognising the urgent need to
facilitate the dignified return of those displaced community in the
The project was started in January 2010 and was able to assist 3,785
families to reconstruct or repair their damaged houses in the districts
of Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.
the ceremony the Australian High Commissioner Kathy Klugman said, “It’s
my great pleasure to be here to hand over one hundred houses to the
people who built the houses and for the people who are the true owners
of these houses and the land. The people in Northern Province of Sri
Lanka have gone through so many hardships and traumas in the past. The
Australian Government working with the Government of Sri Lanka is
committed to helping you looking into the future and we understand
importance of having an own house for the well-being of a family.
The Australian government is also helping to rebuilt twenty five
schools in the Northern Province which were damaged during the time of
conflict and we understand the future rely of your children rely on good
“Other than that since the majority of the villagers’ livelihood is
fishing and farming, we will provide the required equipment which we
think will help to stand by your own and continue the livelihood in a
more effective manner,” she further said.
It is estimated that three decades of civil conflict in the North and
East of Sri Lanka destroyed about 160,000 houses including 100,000 in
the Northern Province. The project has now helped families in over 40
villages to rebuild their homes. It has been an important contribution
to the Government of Sri Lanka’s efforts to ensure the Northern Province
continues to recover from the impact of the conflict. In total, around
1,110 acutely vulnerable families received support to completely rebuild
their homes while 2,675 families received support to undertake major
repairs to their damaged houses.
is estimated that around 12,000 people will live in these homes and each
family has received LKR 325,000 for rebuild and repairs. Kamaladas
Thyalini, a project beneficiary from the village Kallaru, said “My
husband got killed during the war while we were crossing the border. I
live with my parents and I have a kid. We were really disappointed and
lost hopes till we found a solution from this project and now I have a
home to live with my parents and my kid. Today I’m very happy and our
own home has given us a sense of peace and security,” Mary Matali is
another beneficiary of this project who got the opportunity to rebuild
her house which got damaged during the war period.
“I was born here in Kallaru. Due to the war we could transfer many
places like Manik Farm, Mulliwaikal, Iranamadu and so many other places.
With the end of conflict we could again come to our land but when we
return all destroyed. We were so helpless those days and we have nowhere
else to go because all of our relations also were faced the same
disaster as my family. However, I would be grateful to the Australian
Government and UN-HABITAT for the support given for us to rebuild our
whole life which got severely damaged due to the war. This has given us
new courage and self confidence to face the future. I am proud to say
that my family and I provided the majority of the labour required for
UN-HABITAT has been playing a key role in supporting thousands of Sri
Lankan families to rebuild their lives and regain normalcy in post
conflict and post disaster situations during the past three decades. The
Australian Government and UN-HABITAT are continuing to work together
through a second phase of the housing reconstruction program, to which
the Australian Government has already contributed LKR 350 million.