The Government has allocated Rs. 14 billion for high impact resettlement projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to socially upgrade and integrate the war affected families into the mainstream of development. These projects are currently being implemented on an accelerated manner by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs through district secretaries.
The Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs is implementing permanent housing programs covering 9,000 housing units for IDP families and 630 housing units for refugee returnee families and 400 housing units for families in the former threatened villages totalling over 10,000 housing units in the conflict affected North and East districts at a total cost of Rs. 8,024 million with Sri Lanka budgetary funds allocated to the Ministry in 2016.
The housing programs are being implemented through District Secretariats and covers 3,140 housing units for Jaffna district, 1,035 housing units for Kilinochchi district, 1,035 housing units for Mullaitivu, 1,140 housing units for Mannar district, 910 housing units for Vavuniya , 1,120 units for Trincomalee, 1,000 housing units for Batticaloa, and 165 units for Ampara, 80 units for Puttalam, 240 units for Polonnaruwa and 65 units for Anuradhapura, said Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy.
Repairing partially damaged houses
Further, regarding to partially damaged houses, Rs. 200,000 per house is being provided for 2,400 damaged houses. This includes repairing of 720 damaged houses in Jaffna, 120 units in Kilinochchi, 170 units in Mullaitivu, 200 units in Mannar and 50 units in Vavuniya, 100 units in Trincomalee, 1,000 units in Batticaloa and 100 units in Ampara. The total allocation is Rs. 480 million, said Sivagnanasothy.
Water supply and sanitation projects
With regard to the sanitation projects, 7,600 sanitation units are being implemented at a cost of Rs. 418 million for the IDPs, refugee returnees and conflict affected families. In Jaffna 1,200 units, Kilinochchi 1,000 units, Mullaitivu 1,000 units, Vavuniya 1,000 units, Trincomalee 1,000 units, Batticaloa 1,000 units, Ampara 400 units are under implementation. With regard to water supply projects in Jaffna – 39 dug wells and 108 repairing of dug wells and five agro wells repairing of 77 agro wells and 12 water supply schemes are under implementation.
In Mullaitivu 101 dug wells, 26 tube wells, 50 agro wells and 402 water connections are being provided. With regard to water supply projects, Rs. 100 million has been allocated for each district covering Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa whereas the other districts have been allocated between Rs. 50 million to Rs. 75 million to provide water supply for the IDPs, refugee returnees and conflict affected families and are being implemented, said Sivagnanasothy.
IDP families, refugee returnees, socially integrated trainees, women headed families and disabled are being provided livelihood assistance valued Rs. 100,000 for each family covering over 12,050 families in the Northern and Eastern districts at a cost of Rs. 1,205 million. Livelihood support covers poultry, livestock, goat raring, cattle farming, fisheries, cottage industries, agricultural inputs and other income generation projects. Livelihood support is under implementation in Jaffna for 3,000 families, Kilinochchi 1,600 families, Mullaitivu 1,500 families, Mannar 1,600 families, Vavuniya 1,500 families, Trincomalee 1,300 families, Batticaloa 1,000 families and Ampara 550 families.
Further for infrastructure development Rs. 630 million has been provided for implementation of various projects such rehabilitation of internal roads, free domestic electricity connections, renovation of school buildings, hospitals, pre-schools and other infrastructure facilities. All the projects are currently under implementation on a fast track basis.
The Government has given very high priority to address the permanent housing, repairing of damaged houses, provision of water supply, improved sanitation, infrastructure facilities, and livelihood development as durable solutions for affected families. These initiatives the Government allocation of Rs. 14 billion for rehabilitation and resettlement projects in the conflict affected Northern and Eastern districts which indicates the commitment for reconciliation and peace-building, said Sivagnanasothy.