Japan funds development projects in Mannar, Puttalam, Monaragala

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 12:45 GMT]
Japan has provided US$191,365 for three rural development projects, Integrated Programme for Rasamadhu and Kattaspathri Cluster Villages in Mannar District, Integrated Development through Sustainable Livelihood and SocioEconomic Development in Puttalam, and Livelihood Improvement for Identified Seven GN Divisions in Siyambalanduwa, Moneragala District, a press release from the Embassy of Japan issued Wednesday in Colombo said.

Full text of the press release follows:

The Government of Japan has provided a sum of US$ 191,365 (approximately Rs. 19.34 million) towards three rural development projects in Mannar, Moneragala and Puttlam Districts. The signing of the three Grant Contracts took place at the Embassy of Japan on 22nd March 2006. His Excellency Mr. Akio Suda, Ambassador of Japan and representatives of each Organization signed the respective grant contracts. Dr. Yuji Miyahara, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan and officials of each Organization were also present at the ceremony. The three projects that will be implemented by three Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from the respective districts are as follows:

1. “Integrated Programme for Rasamadhu and Kattaspathri Cluster Villages in Mannar District”.

“Kattaspathri” and “Rasamadhu” are two cluster villages which are located 14 km and 22 km respectively away from the Mannar Town. Most of the people in these villages are internally displaced people (IDPs) from the North. They have been facing social and economical difficulties due to lack of basic facilities such as clean water and access roads.

Under the project, construction of several common dug wells and tube wells in both villages, and the construction of Kallaspathri road and renovation of a rural road between Rasamadhu and Madhukarai will be carried out. The construction and renovation of the wells and roads will improve the living condition of the people and facilitate easy access to schools and market places. The project is to be implemented by the Rural Development Foundation (RDF). This is the second such occasion where the Government of Japan has provided funds to RDF.

2. “Livelihood Improvement for Identified Seven GN Divisions in Siyambalanduwa, Moneragala District”.

The Project in Moneragala is aimed at improving the livelihood of the people in seven Grama Niladhari Divisions in Siyambalanduwa.

Siyambalanduwa is one of the least developed areas in the district with a high rate of poverty. It also lies in the border of the conflict areas and has been affected on some occasions in the past. The main livelihood of the people in the area is traditional agriculture which mainly relies on irrigated water. However, as the district is in the dry zone, drought is very frequent and severe water shortages prevent the people from engaging in effective agriculture and the use of water for day-to-day needs. This situation is further aggravated as most of the irrigation systems in the area are in a dilapidated state.

In this context, the project is designed to reconstruct Ellelanda hamlet road, construction of seven common wells and two anicuts in Pallepitiya and Talawa. In addition, training will be provided for 100 farmers in homestead farming which will introduce new cash crops and provide plants to enable them to engage in sustainable farming. The comprehensive project is estimated to benefit over 7,000 people either directly or indirectly in the area. The project will be implemented by the Lower Uva Development Center which has been engaged in community and infrastructure development for the past fourteen years.

3. “Integrated Development through Sustainable Livelihood and Socio Economic Development”

The project is to be implemented in the Puttlam District covering five villages. Most of the displaced families from North and East are resettled in these areas and are engaged in agriculture, fisheries, and small businesses. However, due to lack of adequate facilities they are facing sever hardships in setting up/establishing their livelihood. The funds provided will be utilized for the renovation of an irrigation canal, an agricultural feeder road, a drinking water access road and construction of 3 community multi-purpose buildings. In addition to the development of infrastructure, agricultural inputs such as two-wheel tractors, trailers, water pumps, drip irrigation kits, seeds, fertilizer etc., will also be provided to the farmers aiming at increasing agricultural productivity. Further, necessary training on advance agricultural practices will also be conducted in order to intensify farming in the District.

The community Trust Fund (CTF) will implement the project through a participatory approach to empower the community and support them to become self-reliant. Under the project over 6,500 people will be benefited directly or indirectly. This is the third occasion that the Government of Japan has funded CTF to execute agricultural development activities in the Puttlam District.

The Government of Japan gives priority for eradication of poverty and rural development through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) scheme implemented in Sri Lanka. Japan strongly hopes that these projects will improve the living standards of the rural community.


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