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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 113

Canada inaugurates Canadian/CIDA funded housing project in Matara

By Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Colombo, 11 October, ( A Canada-Sri Lanka housing project funded by the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was inaugurated by Ms. Angela Bogdan, High Commissioner of Canada.

The project marked another milestone in Canadian support to post-tsunami reconstruction in Shaktipura, Southern Province, amidst a distinguished gathering comprising the Governor of Southern Province, Mrs. Kumari Balasuriya, Galle Municipal Council Member Mr. K.K.J. Nishantha and SAPSRI officials, including Executive Director Dr. Padma Ratnayaka and Chairman Dr. Lakshman Hettiarachchi and the families of the new village of Shaktipura, Matara District.

The inauguration of this 4 acre housing site of 30 houses marks the culmination of a C$600,000 project implemented by the Development and Peace Organization, in affiliation with South Asia Partnership Sri Lanka (SAPSRI), to resettle and restore livelihoods of families affected by the December 2004 tsunami. The construction of 20 houses in Galle and 10 houses in Hambantota has also been completed as part of this project. Responsible for coordinating the project on behalf of Development and Peace was Cardinal Leger Organization, a Canadian partner of SAPSRI for the last 18 years.

Each house consists of two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and toilet, built on 15 perches of land adhering to all government guidelines. A waste disposal plan of recycling, waste sorting, composting and home gardening are some of the environment friendly practices being promoted. It is encouraging to note that the majority of the houses were titled to women and that several livelihood initiatives are also underway to assist beneficiaries in continuing or starting new income generation activities.

South Asia Partnership Sri Lanka (SAPSRI) is a non-profit development organization whose mission is to enhance capacities of the disadvantaged members of civil society through a process of participation and partnership promotion to build a just and peaceful civil society. Established in 1981 with assistance from Canada through CIDA, SAPSRI now works in all parts of Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the occasion Ms. Angela Bogdan, reiterated the longstanding relations between Sri Lanka and Canada going back over fifty years stating that “Canada, as a strong promoter and protector of human rights for all peoples, pledged over C$ 425 Million for tsunami affected countries to help those in greatest need rebuild their lives and livelihoods. 40% of these funds are allocated to Sri Lanka.”

Speaking further on Canada’s strong support to women’s rights, Ms. Bogdan commended SAPSRI on protecting women’s right to land and property through Gender Equality, non-discrimination and affirmative action where necessary. The Governor of the Southern Province, Mrs. Balasuriya, also commended the efforts of SAP-SRI and the beneficiaries from Shaktipura for their efforts.

- Asian Tribune -

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