A permanent residence built by Caritas in Valaipadu in Kilinochchi
Caritas distributed permanent homes, fishing boats and related supplies to needy families in Kilinochchi who were devastated by the country’s blood civil war.
Father Arulanandam Yavis, head of Caritas Kilinochchi, presided over a ceremony held at St Anne’s Church in Valaipadu on February 19.
“Fifty boats, outboard engines, nets, other accessories and 22 permanent houses were given out to families to help them return to a normal life,” he said.
“This is life support for displaced and homeless people.”
The project was funded by donations from Caritas Sweden and Caritas Luxemburg, the priest added. Annina Feller, program manager of Caritas Sweden, KS Vasantha Kumar, divisional government secretary, and Fr George Sigamony, Caritas national director, also participated in the ceremony.
“We have selected beneficiaries on the criteria of widows, female heads of families, disabled members in the family and more female children in the family,” Fr Yavis said.
Nearly 2,000 displaced people remain in need of permanent shelter in war-ravaged areas of the country, according to government data.
Ganamma Emmanuel, 52, mother of six, said her family fled fighting in her home village in 2002 and lived in several refugee camps ever since.
“Earlier we had two boats and a happy life, but everything was lost, including relatives and family members,” she said.
Fr Yavis said that each house provided by Caritas cost about 500,000 rupees (US$4,348) and the motorboats cost about 460,000 rupees.
Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Sri Lanka has also signed a memorandum of understanding with India to reconstruct and repair 49,000 houses for internally displaced people, with financial assistance from India.
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