Project code: XB/SRL/08/X02(D215)
Background and objectives
The conflict in Trincomalee and Batticaloa, which began in August 2006, resulted in the displacement 150,000 people. The IDPs lost almost everything including their homes and their means of livelihood. Of the 38,583 families (151,809 people) displaced, 27,195 families have now returned to their original place of residence.
The government estimated that as many as 28,000 houses were damaged or destroyed in Batticaloa. A UN-HABITAT commissioned survey identified that the rebuilding of their houses was the primary concern for the vast majority of returnees. This prompted UNHABITAT to develop a ‘Starter House’ concept to get families on the road to recovery in the shortest possible time. The Starter House will lay down the ‘footprint’ of an eventual complete house that conforms to the minimum standards laid down by Government for housing.
The main activities included:
- Supporting communities to form their Community Development Councils;
- Facilitating access to vocational training
- Facilitate conducting Communities Action Planning that would identify their needs, priorities and take appropriate actions
- Resolving land tenure and other issues and ensuring access to a secure place to live for all affected families
- Executing physical works through Community Contracts ensuring investment made in development is shared with the people
- Providing financial assistance to families to build a house
- Assisting in establishing savings and credit groups among women.
The results achieved were:
- Community Development Council (CDC) formed and registered with the Local Authority.
- Constitution framed and accepted by the members of the council for the functioning of the CDC.
- Signing of community contracts
- Funds for the construction of the houses remitted to the bank account of the CDCs in instalments proportionate to the quantum of work completed
- CDCs made bulk purchases of building materials and distributed these among the beneficiaries under the close supervision of the UN-HABITAT technical staff
- All 80 Starter Houses have been completed.
- ‘People Centred’ participatory approaches promoted in order to empower and encourage communities in the rebuilding of their lives.