Tsunami Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Activities 2004-2005 (Plan Sri Lanka)

Tsunami Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Activities 2004-2005 (Plan Sri Lanka)

Description of Activities

Plan Sri Lanka responded immediately after the tsunami to implement an emergency response program, since then we have been focusing on the longer term program of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Plan’s post-tsunami response is focused mainly in Hambantota District in the Southern Province, as Plan had worked in this District for eight years until 2004. As a child centered community development organization Plan is committed to meeting the needs and protecting and promoting the rights children the most disadvantaged children. Below is a short summary of the work carried out to date in each of our sectors of intervention. The Norwegian government has generously supported Plan Sri Lanka’s post-tsunami education program, in addition to emergency relief.

Plan helped children get back into a normal school environment as soon as possible. We are constructing, repairing and equipping schools that serve tsunami affected populations. Achievements so far include:

  • Provision of education materials to 75,000 children in coastal district of the South.
  • Construction has begun for a new primary and a secondary school complex.
  • Work has started on 9 tsunami affected schools after consultation with children and teachers.
  • A radio tuition program is broadcasting free tuition classes for students affected by the tsunami.

Restoring the education sector and building back better are the twin aims of this response program which strives to promote quality learning environments for tsunami affected children.

Disease was prevented through provision of medicines, drugs and water and sanitation in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami. We have now developed a joint plan of action with the Ministry of Health to improve home based child health care and mother and child nutrition.

Psychosocial support
Plan (with GTZ, the NIE and Ministry of Education) has established a school based psychosocial support system in 10,000 schools nationwide. School based psychosocial activities are having an impact as teachers are more confident and able to address concerns and issues raised by tsunami affected children. Children have someone to talk to and someone to listen to their problems and to help them find solutions.

Plan is building a new child-friendly settlement of 200 houses. In addition, we are helping over 150 families rebuild their own houses. Plan is also playing a critical role in introducing a disaster preparedness system in Hambantota at the district, division and school level.

We are supporting young people, women and families to restore their livelihoods through the provision of tools, skills training and microfinance. The thousands of people taking part in livelihood activities will have an opportunity to earn an income to support their families. Loans and grants to microfinance partners for the deferment of old loans and extension of new loans to tsunami affected women has an immediate and direct impact on each family who has had a loan rescheduled or has receive a new loan. Rather than having a debt they can never repay and no way to earn an income, beneficiaries have the chance to build new business and earn income to support their families and children.

Child rights, protection and participation
Plan is committed to listening to the concerns of children and young people wherever we can. We consulted with children about house and school designs and supporting children and young people to make a film about their experiences and to be involved in other projects such as community theatre workshops. This has the potential to have great impacts on the children and young people involved, it gives them self confidence and builds their self esteem, and gives them an avenue to express themselves.