Our field team handing a ration pack to a farmer
GlobalGiving Joint Report 23rd June 2022 - Project No. 37368 –
Investing In Communities to Conserve Elephants
Just as the world is ready to move on from the Covid-19 Sri Lanka is plagued with other problems.
Over the last few months, Sri Lanka’s economic situation has dwindled and now it’s facing one of its worst economic crises. For Sri Lankans, the crisis has turned their daily lives into an endless cycle of waiting in lines for basic goods, many of which are being rationed.
Sri Lanka now is facing a foreign currency shortage; the foreign reserves have been reduced by roughly 85% thereby making it difficult to purchase essentials to run the country. There are huge lines for fuel and gas. There are no imports into the country so certain products, like butter and milk powder, are unavailable in the market. The lack of fuel has disrupted the transportation thus it has created a shortage of vegetables in the market and due to this, the prices in the urban areas have drastically increased. The lack of fuel also affects the country’s power supply, with citizens facing up to 16 hrs of power cuts daily, thus hampering their daily life. In addition, the Sri Lankan Medical Association has also stated that medical supplies are running low. By the end of April, Sri Lanka will run out of essential medicines and medical supplies.
So where does this leave us and our projects?
Supplementary Crop Experiments
Despite all the issues in Sri Lanka, Trunks & Leaves still plan to go ahead with the supplementary crop project. We have, however, shifted the timeline to start our project next year as opposed to this year. With the fuel shortage in Sri Lanka, our mobility to get this project up and running in various areas will be hampered, hence we decided to start next year.
But that does not mean this year will be completely lost. Trunks & Leaves are looking to sign an MOU with another local NGO, Janathakshan. Janathakshan has been working with rural communities in the North Central region of Sri Lanka for nearly a decade, providing all types of support to the farming community there. Janathakshan’s expertise and resources cover five main areas, Micro and SME development, Agriculture and Natural resources management, Climate change and disaster risk management, Renewable energy, and Information services to the rural community. A partnership with them will help our project reach deserving communities that are affected by the human-elephant conflict in the North Central region of Sri Lanka.
Before we begin our project we are, with the help of agriculture experts, studying the landscapes and types of crops we can cultivate in Udawalawe and other regions. So when our project commences next year we will have a sound understanding of the farming aspect of the project, thereby wasting no time in securing an additional income for these farmers.
We need all the help we can get so that we can continue to do our good work and help the communities in need. So thank you for helping us on this journey!
Follow our updates on social media and stay tuned for more exciting news on this project!
GlobalGiving Report 23rd June 2022 - Project No. 56041 –
Emergency Relief For Rural Sri Lankan Households
Relief efforts in Udawalawe
Trunks & Leaves has been involved in Udalawawe for decades. We have worked with the community and helped them for many years, but now is when help is needed the most.
85% of the population surrounding the corridor, near the Udawalawe National Park, are farmers and the rest of them are laborers and daily wage earners. The farming community was severely affected this year. With the rising inflation, the increase in the cost of living, and the crop raids by wild animals, the situation in these areas has been the direst it has ever been. Many of the families have been surviving from the little vegetables they have grown in their backyard.
Many relief efforts are happening all around Sri Lanka, however, none specifically focused on farming communities that are affected by HEC. Keeping this in mind, Trunks & Leaves decided to provide $30 dry ration packs to the deserving households in that community. These $30 packs will help a family sustain for a month, giving them the much-needed essentials. With the help of the GlobalGiving community, we set a target of USD 6000 and managed to collect 1/3rd of the donation to date. This allowed us to support 60 households in that area and we hope we can raise more funds to this project running and help as many people as we can.
We hope to continue these relief efforts with the funds we raise further. Moreover, we wish to expand this relief work beyond Udawalawe and reach out to other HEC-affected communities that are in need as well.
Your donations are what propels us to continue this project, so thank you! We will update you with further details on this project in our next report.
There are other ways in which you can help us, it is never too late to do some good, so please do consider adopting an elephant to support our work. Our adoption program was launched last year, with each kit featuring a real individual from our study population. Each year we release a new cohort of calves who can only be adopted for a limited time. You can now learn more about the elephants we all love so dearly or gift a kit for an elephant lover in your life!
In case you missed it, here are stories about our work and what the new normal could look like:
How Sri Lankans Are Trying to Mitigate the World’s Deadliest Human-Elephant Conflict
On World Elephant Day (and every day) humans should stay away from wildlife (commentary by Shermin de Silva on Mongabay)
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These were the houses the beneficiaries lived in
An elderly lady shedding a tear of joy,