Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta

Sri Lanka: tsunami rehabilitation continues

15/03/2006

Malteser International continues its support work in Sri Lanka, in spite of the increasing lack of security. ‘Attacks used to be directed towards army bases, but now the civil population is also targeted,’ says Maren Paech, project coordinator in Sri Lanka. Violence and attacks have spread in the Trincomalee District, but project activities are continuing as far as the security situation allows.

Water resources stored for the dry season

After a successful pilot project in summer and autumn 2005, Malteser International will now start a comprehensive water project in the Hambantota, Matare and Galle Districts in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Even along the tropical coastline of southern Sri Lanka, drought-like seasons occur year by year after the monsoon season, leading to severe water shortages.

Rainwater will be collected from the roofs of the houses and then stored in tanks for the dry season. Up to 3,000 families will benefit from these improved water storage capacities. The project has been developed by Malteser International in cooperation with Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum and UNICEF. Major activities include rehabilitation and improvement of the traditional existing rainwater harvesting systems as well as the capacity building of local masons and other craftsmen in demonstration centres in each district. The techniques will be implemented and used long term.

The project will also improve the overall sustainability of water resources and bring substantial relief to the population, which is still suffering from Tsunami impacts on the local water supply resources and infrastructure.

The rainwater harvesting project is a continuation of our focus on rehabilitation efforts and the water and sanitation sector. Malteser International is committed to remain in these disaster-affected regions, at a time when other organisations are pulling out.