The Government of Pakistan through High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka has funded the construction of 2 clean drinking water projects for the resettled vulnerable communities in Mullaitivu district in the Northern part of Sri Lanka. These projects were implemented in the Neerayipitty East and Kumarapuram villages in the Martainpattu DS division after under taking vulnerability assessment for the provision of drinking water.
Respecting the community, Seema Ilahi Baloch visited the beneficiary communities and handed over the projects on 15th November 2012 in the presence of Additional Government Agent Mullaitivu Mr Mohandas, Head of Programme, Muslim Aid Mr. A.W.M. Fahim, and the community leaders.
The First beneficiary village is Kumarapuram where approximately 300 Tamil families are living. The people of this village were greatly affected by the war. They were displaced and living in the Menik Farm welfare camps for more than two years and were resettled in the places of origin in early 2011.
The other village Neerayipitty East is predominantly a Muslim village where approximately 450 families were resettled during the last two years. These families were displaced in 1990s and were living in welfare camps in Puttalam. With the end of the conflict, these families were asked to return to their village of origin as they were living in adverse conditions in Puttlam due to poor housing, limited livelihood options and lack of other basic facilities.
The physical infrastructure of the villages had been totally collapsed due to war between Sri Lankan armed forces and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). The people therefore had to start their life from scratch. The returned families were very poor and were supported by the Sri Lankan government, INGOs, NGO, CBO’s and well-wishers to put up temporary shelters to live in.
It was emerged after due assessments that the community members especially women had to walk long distances to carry water for drinking and bathing purposes which created further hardship for the women in their communities.
Realizing the difficulties faced by the resettled communities, the High Commissioner of Pakistan, Seema Ilahi Baloch facilitated sponsorship for the construction a tube well and a community dug well for affected communities thereby benefiting around 750 families directly on daily basis. The projects have been implemented by Muslim Aid Sri Lanka.
Thanking and appreciating the commitment of Seema Illahi Baloch, the community extended invitation for her kind presence for handing over the projects.
Earlier this year, the Government of Pakistan sponsored 3 Clean Drinking Water Projects for the needy Muslim, Sinhalese and Tamil communities of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.
These Projects were also fully funded by the Government of Pakistan and were gifted to Rotawewa, Awweinagar and Track 6 Village of the Morawava DS Division. These projects were handed over to the respective communities subsequent to the inauguration. The Rotawewa village is inhabited by the resettled Muslim families, whereas Track-6 houses Buddhist Sinhalese families, while, Awweinagar is a Tamil resettlement in district Morawava.
The Water Supply Projects underscores Pakistan’s commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on water. The Millennium Development Goals aim to cut by half the number of people living without drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015.
These projects would add to various projects from the Government and people of Pakistan for their Sri Lankan brethren in health, education and livelihood sectors. These projects includes construction of the district Hospital Akurana; construction of a 3 storied state of the art school in Gampaha District, equipping science laboratories in schools, 30 computer centers and 6 stitching centers, providing ambulances to hospitals, annual awards of Jinnah Scholarships to students for continuation of education, and the annual awards of long-term scholarships for study of medicine, engineering, dentistry and pharmacy in Pakistan.
Since 1948, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have consistently maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relationship. Both countries have made impressive efforts to preserve and build on these solid foundations.