World Vision and Builders Without Borders Train Local Tsunami Construction Workers
Contact: Kristy Allen-Shirley, Communications Director - Asia Tsunami Response Team, World Vision International, Singapore, + 65 81289066 cell; firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- A joint initiative by World Vision's Lanka Tsunami Response Team and Builders Without Borders has taught modern construction methods to local contractors in the eastern districts of Batticaloa and Ampara.
Three Builders Without Borders volunteers from Canada worked with local contractors on efficient construction methods, and safe practice in construction sites. Builders Without Borders is an international network of experienced tradesmen and tradeswomen who form partnerships with communities and organisations around the world to create affordable housing from local materials, while building local capacity.
Rod Imer, Lanka Tsunami Response Team Construction Operations Manager said, "The first crew of contractors learnt how to use electrical power tools, and organise their work flow efficiently. They learnt the basic elements of roof construction and door and window installations. The second crew managed a demonstration workshop where they prepared structures for roof construction and built various sample work elements to help build houses, including simple scaffolding for block laying and plastering, sawhorses for carpentry work, and making toolboxes." The Builders Without Borders volunteers also constructed roof framing that enabled local contractors to build roofs more efficiently.
"Usually, many laborers climb on roofs and pass the hammers and nails among themselves without taking safety measures. Now they have learnt how to safely carry their tools even if they are working on the roof," said Josephine Pillai, World Vision Tsunami Response Stakeholder Representative in Batticaloa. "The most important lessons everyone learnt during this training was how to save time, work more efficiently, and keep the site neat and safe."
Four women from Ampara aged between 16 and 22 were encouraged to participate in the training. The women were trained for ten days in setting out timber structures and elements while learning to properly use hammers, handsaws and electric drills. By the end of the training, the women were able to build sawhorses, scaffold-leaners, toolboxes and rafter assemblies. "Learning these new skills allows the women to actively and professionally participate in the development of their community building projects in the future," said Julia Armstrong from BWB.
With attention geared towards finishing 3,360 houses and 63 schools, the Lanka Tsunami Response Construction Team will continue teaching roof construction techniques to those who were not enrolled in the Builders Without Borders training.
Despite the challenges of escalating conflict in Sri Lanka where the security situation interrupts the construction work on sites, World Vision wishes to continue its cooperation with Builders Without Borders by employing leading hand tradesmen to work on the construction sites of three schools in Batticaloa. Building one new school, and adding buildings to two others by applying modern construction techniques will provide new facilities for 1,990 students in a district where people know too well the suffering of the tsunami and the ethnic conflict.
Solar power brings light to the lives of tsunami survivors
Thousands of families have benefited from the installation of more than 1,200 solar light systems across Sri Lanka.
The project is a joint effort between World Vision and Light Up The World Foundation (LUTW). Families living in remote areas, fishermen, and people displaced by the tsunami and civil war have all benefited.
"The LUTW and World Vision partnership is one of our most innovative responses to the tsunami. Working with LUTW, we have been able to provide a clear, friendly light source, as well as creating a safer environment for women and children," said Perry Mansfield, World Vision Lanka Tsunami Response Programme Director.
Project beneficiary Sarammashe, who currently lives in transitional housing in Thampaddai village, said, "Ever since the tsunami we had no electricity and we had to struggle to find money to buy kerosene oil, which is very expensive. But now we have this new light. It is free of charge and does not give out heat."
Nirmaladevi, a mother of three children, said, "My children are now able to study at night. I feel much safer that we no longer use the kerosene oil and that we have this light that can warn us if there are snakes at night."
In Jaffna's east, a 30-40 kilometre long strip of land running between a lagoon and the ocean was hit hard by the tsunami. The community, mostly fishermen, are not allowed to rebuild their homes and had to relocate farther from the ocean, affecting the distance they travel to work and storage of fishing equipment. In response, World Vision designed Fishermen Rest-rooms, a practical building for the fisherman to store their gear and rest between fishing trips. Solar lights have been installed to ensure the rest-rooms can be used safely during working hours. In this same stretch of land, World Vision installed lights in newly built permanent homes.
In Palavi, in the northwest corner of Kilinochchi, families live in relative isolation and had not been able to access electricity. Through this project, solar light has been installed, benefiting key community structures such as the Catholic Church and a schoolhouse.
On the north-east coast of Kilinochchi in Kallaru, 130 shelters which World Vision assumed responsibility for are to be completed and handed over to war displaced families from Jaffna. Solar lights funded by the programme will feature in these homes.
New homes for tsunami-affected community in Aceh
World Vision recently handed over 155 new houses to the people of Umong Seribee village of Lhoong, 65 kilometres south west of Banda Aceh.
World Vision has built a total of 180 houses for this tsunami-affected village.
During a ceremony attended by the village members, local government and NGO partners, World Vision Zone Manager Panuturi Marbun handed over 180 housing certificates to the village representatives.
"We built these houses for those people who were made homeless by the tsunami. Our mission is to ensure that the children are protected by providing them with these houses," said Panuturi. "I feel very glad that the community has a better place to live now."
Afriandi, one of the village leaders of Umong Seribee, thanked World Vision for its work. "Representing the community, I'm very grateful for World Vision's support, especially for the houses. These certificates show that the housing construction in our village has been completed by World Vision," he said.
"It is very touching for me as I have a house again now," said Arwiati, a mother of five who also attended the handover ceremony.
Currently World Vision is constructing 3,566 houses across Aceh, and 1,818 have been completed. World Vision's permanent houses are built following Indonesian government guidelines, including two bedrooms, a living room, and a bathroom.