People’s Leasing Ampara branch spearheads relief for drought hit in Ampara district

Saturday, 30 August 2014 03:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In response to a request made by the Ampara District Secretariat, Ampara branch of People’s Leasing & Finance PLC spearheaded a drinking water distribution initiative. In partnership with the National Water Supply & Drainage Board, water is being distributed in a bowser with a carrying capacity of 14,000 litres, among drought affected families in the Damana area where over 4,800 families are severely affected by water crisis. The initiative was started on 8 August 2014 and continued on daily basis benefitting the families who reside in the interiors of the above villages. The Disaster Management Centre confirms that over 1,150,728 persons have been affected by the drought prevailing in six provinces in the country. In Ampara district, over 21,000 families are badly affected by the drought.                     “We were geared to act promptly in response to many pleas of our drought hit customers who engaged in paddy, sugarcane and chena cultivation. This was intensified by the feedback we received from our microfinance officers who visited community ‘clusters’ frequently. We had an initial discussion with Mr. Neel De Alwis the District Secretary and he introduced us to Mr. Soyza Siriwardene the Divisional Secretary to Damana to kick start the initiative. Under his guidance we distribute water to the neediest and each trip is participated by a representative of Divisional Secretariat. We were instructed to daily cater to villages which are affected by severe drought in Damana area. At times we make two trips to the affected areas, one in the morning and the other in the evening depending on the need,” stated PLC Ampara branch Head Dinesh Willarachchige. This initaitive benifits the affected community living in Bakmitiyawa, Pannalgama, Kumana,Thottama,Weheragala, Ambalanoya, Madawalalanda, Madana, Thibirigolla, Eggaloya, Dewalahinda, Diviyagala, 18 Janapadaya, Kalugolla and Koknahara areas. “The multi stakeholder engaged project was greatly assisted by the District Secretariat, Divisional Secretariat and Mr. Kapila Perera, the District Engineer of the National Water Supply & Drainage Board. At the initial stage where temporary water storage was a problem, District Secretariat facilitated the initiative with 20 storage tanks with 1,000 litre capacity placed in public areas readily accessible to the community.  This really smoothened the distribution process while reducing the wastage. We are deeply moved by the feedback we received from the community and especially from our customers who directly talked to us. We are ambitious to spearhead this most timely needed and vital initiative towards the end of this August as one of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to the people in need. Our branch staff volunteered to assist this worthy cause irrespective of the cast, creed or religion to the affected people in the area. Indeed it is a great humanitarian need of the hour,” added Willarachchige. The Ampara branch as their flagship CSR initiative provides water infrastructure to the remotest areas in the Ampara area. Among the already benefitted schools are Kahatagasyaya Vidyalaya at Uhana and Viharamahadevi Primary School at Lahugala. The plans are under way to assist four more identified schools before the end of March 2015.