Cash grants for the Tsunami
Affected to build own houses

Minister, Jeevan Kumaranatunga who was the chief guest at the handing over of 56 new apartments built by the Red Cross, in the Ratmalana, "Food stores Land" to tsunami beneficiaries stated that cabinet approval was taken by him to give a cash grant to tsunami victims who lost their houses and are still in temporary shelters to buy a plot of land and build their own homes. He stated that the problem of those families remains unsolved due to difficulties in finding suitable land.

The beneficiary families of the project initiated by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society built with financial support of Rs. 110 million from Canadian Red Cross (CRC) and technical support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) state that the housing they have now is far better than what they had prior to the tsunami.

"The small house we lived in near the coast was destroyed by the tsunami. We lost everything and stayed in temporary shelters. But now, thanks to the Red Cross, with this scheme we are owners of apartments with all amenities such as electricity, water, roads and sanitation facilities. The Red Cross also donated furniture and kitchen utensils to us to begin a new life" said Ms. Asilin Nona, a widow of 70 and a mother of two daughters and grand mother to five children. She was one of the 56 beneficiaries who received new permanent apartments in a condominium built by the Red Cross in Ratmalana .

All beneficiaries of these apartments shares similar ideas and were grateful to the Red Cross for supporting them.

The beneficiaries received ownership certificates from Land and Land development Minister Jeevan Kumaranatunga and several Red Cross representatives including Senior Manager/ Construction IFRC John Wain, Pamela Davie, Acting Country Coordinator, CRC, Tissa Abeywickrama Chairman Red Cross Task Force at the handing over ceremony held on 19 October 2009.

The Minister addressing the participants recollected the massive tsunami recovery programme undertaken by the Red Cross throughout the country and how affected communities including those of Moratuwa Ratmalana benefited." They helped us to overcome the big challenges we had to face after the tsunami. It is our duty as peoples representatives to appreciate the contribution made by the Red Cross again and again." The minister said.

Pamela Davie, Acting Country Coordinator, CRC said that she feels proud when she sees the donations given by Canadian people helping tsunami affected people with these quality houses. "We, have built 900 houses in Sri Lanka and have supported 10 hospital constructions and CBH programmes in 10 districts and when I see these happy beneficiaries I am sure that our donors can also feel happy and proud of their contributions" She added.

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