Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has completed a project to establish a residential village for 800 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sri Lanka.
At a total cost of $486,619 (nearly QR1.8mn), donated by a Qatari benevolent person who requested anonymity, the new village is located in Riditenna, Valaichchenai Province, eastern Sri Lanka
The project comprised 56 2-BHK housing units, each with a 250-litre water tank, a mosque, public school, health unit, and two shops. An artesian water well was dug and equipped with a solar-powered pump and a 10,000-litre tank.
The health facility will later be handed over to the government to ensure its sustainability
Done in co-operation with Serendib Foundation for Relief and Development, the project provides a convenient environment for the populations that were displaced due to armed conflict. Now, they can return to their home villages after years of displacement.
In February 2018, a delegation from QRCS held the groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which was attended by the Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Mayor of Batticaloa, head of municipality, local community leaders, and the project's manager.
Under a public tender, the contract was awarded to the winning construction company. To ensure more transparency, onsite supervisors were appointed and weekly follow-up visits were made by QRCS personnel and the partners.
The houses, the mosque, and the school were fully furnished, and the health unit has all the needed medical equipment. After the end of operation, the health facility will be handed over to the government to ensure its sustainability.
The project included a park and play area for children
Sri Lanka suffered an armed conflict that displaced thousands of people to neighbouring provinces, where they lived in makeshift shelters.
As the conflict came to an end, they started returning home just to find totally destroyed houses and public utilities.
An integrated repatriation scheme was adopted by the government to reconstruct the damaged areas, rehabilitate infrastructure, and support livelihoods.