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【Sri Lanka-18】 Latrines and Wells at Refugee Communities

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jpf.jpgIn July, Habitat began a new initiative in the district of Mannar, where we have been building houses. While continuing to receive support from Japan Platform and working in cooperation with Habitat Sri Lanka, we started building latrines and wells so that those returning to their homes after the Civil War could have access to clean water and better sanitation.

20120821SL_1.jpgThe new work site is called Sannar in the district of Mannar, a village where latrines and wells were desperately needed. Over 200 people have resettled in this village, but there were no usable toilets. This means that people have no choice but to go in the woods for bathroom. Not only is this unsanitary, but there are poisonous snakes and insects lurking in the bush; using bathroom there was a life-threatening affair. On the other hand, there was only one well for multi-purpose water and 2 wells for drinking water that served 200 households in the area. Sannar is quite a large village and the trip to the well and back was over 5 km for some families. Often, there appears a long line of women at the well that had come to get water at the well. (picture at left)

20120821SL_2.jpgOn July 31, Habitat Japan held an orientation for the potential beneficiary families in Sannar. Habitat Japan explained the local government's procedure that each family would need to complete in order for us to build the wells and latrines, and also explained the sequence of events leading up to the actual construction. Currently, the final meetings to decide the building locations are being held in the local government. The assessment is on going to find the underground streams for digging the wells, and as soon as the locations are fixed, construction will start.

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Pictures (from right) a villager pumping water from a deep well, a typical well in Sri Lanka, the scenery in the village of Sannar

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