It has been8yearssincethecivilwarwasoverinSriLanka.You can still see the impact of war especially in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka where the front line was located. For the past 5 years, JEN has been supporting the local people to rebuild their lives, and 2017 is the final year for these projects. The final project focuses on disaster prevention and mitigation in order to develop the local people’s knowledge of how to recover from a disaster by themselves.
JEN held the final workshop. The workshop’s content is creating hazard map by each household of beneficiaries. In the workshop, they reviewed the leaning from the last workshop which includes what kinds of disaster occur in Northern Province of Sri Lanka, checking the last time homework: where is the toilet, doors and evacuate roots in your house, and then introduced created Community Disaster Management Committee. After the review and introduction, all participants started creating the map.
Each participant confirmed his/her house in the village map, and then wrote participants’ houses, their neighbors’ houses, schools, religious buildings or any other public spaces, and shops. Moreover, they wrote down the wells, open channel and water reservoir tanks which might cause of disaster.
After creating the map, the resource person explained using the map, which roots should use the evacuation once disaster occurs; where you should evacuate your cattle and so on.
In the wrap-up time, randomly selected participants pointed their houses in the map and explained evacuation route. In addition, some participants answered whose house they are, which JEN’s staff asked. All of them are correct! Villagers know their village well. The resource person emphasized repeatedly, “The government cannot response all disasters. The most efficient way to reduce disaster damages are preparation by villagers as well as helping out each other by villagers.
Through total 5 workshops, participants learned preparation for main disasters which related to direct impact on agriculture, such as drought and flood. Disasters are always around of us, and occur anytime and anywhere. We hope the participants, entire community and the government continue to make efforts to disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction.
All programs of 14 years completed
JEN Sri Lanka will finish its operation at the end of December 2017. JEN’s activity have been continued for 14 years since 2004 to support Indian ocean Tsunami affected people while the civil war was continuing.
Through our programs of emergency response for Tsunami etc. as well as returnees’ support of the civil war, people of Sri Lanka kept making effort to be independent and being self-reliant themselves to live better. This is because proactive participation by people who joined JEN’s programs.
We faced a lot of difficulties too. JEN’s staffs argued among themselves to discuss which projects were the best for participants’ self-reliance. Sometimes, we needed to have long discussions with the government to decide what/how JEN should support those people. To bring up the participants’ motivation was also difficult because of lack of living condition, such as; poverty and further anxiousness. But everyone got over it to pay all their effort to make it happen.
In Sri Lanka, the climate change might affect further and we predict it will. We hope the people who have learned with JEN can use obtained knowledge and achieve their self-reliance.
Once again, thank you for your 14 years’ support!
December 21, 2017 in Sri Lanka
Since July 10, JEN has provided emergency assistance for survivors who were affected by the flood in southern Sri Lanka in May.
On August 27, JEN completed the distribution of emergency shelter kits distribution to 150 households in 13 districts.
We would like to thank you once again for your continued support.
This is a report on the distribution of tent reinforcing materials JEN has provided in a camp in the Wanniyawaththa GN Division, Nivithigala DS, Ratnapura District.
Temporarily shelters were installed and people affected by the flood resumed their daily lives. Houses are located on the mountainside at the end of the steep path.
Unlike the material JEN has distributed can withstand heavy rain, so people can settle down and have a roof over their heads until their houses are rebuilt.
Even while we were providing this assistance, the news of extensive floods and mudslides came in one after another from India, Nepal, Sierra Leone and elsewhere.
JEN provides emergency shelter assistance to residents affected by the monsoon that occurred in southern Sri Lanka in May. The Ratnapura District, the target area of our project, is located in the southwest part of the country. The district suffered extensive damage due to repetitive floods and landslides, killing 86 people, completely destroying 860 buildings and partially destroying 7,846.
Most of the damaged buildings have broken roofs and walls and cracks in their foundations, so are no longer usable. JEN is distributing materials to familieswho have lost their homes and have had to move in with relativesor to evacuation centers. Using these materials families are able to build their own simple shelters in which to live until their homes are rebuilt.
The Ratnapura District is famous for jewelry production which is one of Sri Lanka’s major industries. Cat’s-eye and sapphire gemstones can be found in the local rivers and mountains, so people search for gemstones everywhere. The district is also rich in produce such as tea, rubber, rambutans and avocados which cannot be cultivated in the north.
Whilst setting up the office JEN immediately obtained approval for the project and started a preliminary needs assessment. Because many of the affected households live deep in the mountains where access by car is not possible, JEN had to do investigations on foot. Once complete the distribution of relief goods start.
Due to the climate change, JEN is planning to strengthen the capability of disaster mitigation and prevention in Sri Lanka in 2017, including drought or flood either both of the climates countermeasures.
The anxiety caused by drought due to the climate change in Sri Lanka was discussed in our previous staff blog. However, this time we are writing of the damage to farming caused by rain.
Once the rainy season begins, many families in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu cultivate beans such as black eyed peas, aduki beans, peanuts etc. They utilize huge plots of land, ranging from 500 square metres to 1,000 square metres, which is beyond the imagination of ordinary families in Japan, and which allows them to harvest between 35 kg to 50 kg of beans.
The harvested beans are divided into three portions: those to sell at market; those to eat at home; and those to preserve as seeds for the next cultivation. Beans which are preserved as seeds for next time will be planted for longer and dried naturally.
Once these beans are harvested, they are stored in a dry place for 45 days. After that, people can plant these beans as seeds again. If beans are not dried enough and then planted as they are, an abundant crop of beans cannot be expected even if the seeds sprout.
Since black-eyed peas and aduki beans do not require much water, lots of seeds could be harvested this season notwithstanding the small amount of rainfall.
However, during this year’s harvest, heavy rain continued for a week in Mullaitivu damaging seeds which need to be dried naturally. Wet crops sprout easily so they are not suitable for food.
Moreover, they cannot be used as seeds for the next cultivation as they are not sufficiently dried. Farmers regretfully showed us their damaged crops.
Thus, on one hand it doesn’t rain when it’s necessary on the other hand, it rains when sunshine is needed. This often occurring situation repeatedly places those people reliant upon farming for their living into a vulnerable position.
In Sri Lanka, where the weather is continuously unstable due to climate change, a further measure to minimize this risk is required.
JEN’s goal is to support the self-help capability in individual families and communities so that people do not fall back into poverty. Our team will do our best to achieve the goal.
As a part of the community strength support, JEN is establishing community centres where groups within communities such as agricultural co-operative association or village development committee can conduct activities. Under the idea“buildings for the region should be built by themselves”, they don’t hire a building contractor and construction from the foundation to the roof is conducted by the regional village development committee.
On October 4, some employees of Ford Motor Company, one of the supporters of Thampakamam Community Centre construction, came from Colombo to Kilinochchi and helped with construction work under the programme of Global Month of Caring as a volunteer.
The work for the day was backfilling after completing the foundation of the building and carrying the sand and soil to the 24 square meters place endlessly.
Vannankerny North village of Thampakamam district, which is a community centre construction site, has no building facilities because the place was released from the army last year and started resettlement of returnees.
For the employees who spend most of their time in the room with air conditioner, it seemed they were very hard to work under the scorching sun.
Between the construction works, they visited the place where JEN constructs wells and spent some time with people in the community.
Houses made of block have been built in Thampakamam area by the recent government shelter support. However, there are still many houses made of tin roof or palm leaves and they shared 2 wells and 2 water tanks in 15 houses before JEN’s well construction for agriculture.
The employees of Ford Motor Company mentioned that Thampakamam area does not look like the same country, after they saw its situation when it was far behind the big city, Colombo.
Also, they were impressed by the people of Thampakamam area who are strong, despite the lack of resources and opportunities.
Through these opportunities, we will be grateful if JEN has a chance to spread the history, beauty and people with full of hospitality as well as the situation of the northern area on their behalf.
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