Sri Lanka has completed a major part
of the reconstruction of tsunami-affected houses successfully.
The loans for housing were given using World Bank funds and the
housing projects were implemented by the District Secretaries of
the affected areas, Chairperson, Reconstruction and Development
Agency Shanthi Fernando told Sunday Island yesterday.
She said the total number of houses
needed to be built for the tsunami affected people was 117,372
and the number of houses completed as at December 20 was
100,572. There were, however, 57,000 temporary shelters by the
end of 2006 but now only 8,865 remained.
The latest number of houses completed
in the Southern Province was 38,000, Western Province 2300,
Eastern Province 53,400, Northern Province 6,500 and North
Western Province 74, she noted. "By the end of 2006 the number
of houses completed was 71,000 indicating that the progress made
in 2007 was very satisfactory".
"Three years ago, when the tsunami
caused devastation we did not have the mechanism to face the
problem of construction of such vast number of houses at a rapid
pace. Human resources too were lacking. The RADA only
coordinated the reconstruction process, but government district
officials and certain NGO's took up the challenges though there
were many shortcomings, she said.
Though there were a large number of
philanthropists who rushed to help the affected people they too
did not know where they could help with the funds they had
brought. Therefore, there could have been unavoidable problems
even in the reconstruction of houses or other measures of relief
given to the affected people, the Chairperson said.