A Habitat Home newly constructed through the Kalutara Housing Project
abitat for Humanity Sri Lanka celebrated the completion of the Kalutara Housing Project on 25th April 2018 at a ceremony held in Halkandawila, Kalutara. Habitat Sri Lanka was able to provide 37 homes for low-income families in two villages in Kalutara through this unique housing project which was sponsored by an individual donor from Colombo, who was inspired to donate to Habitat Sri Lanka having realized that she wanted to support low-income families who were in urgent need of homes. While the construction of all 37 homes was supported by the individual donor, the Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo donated 8 perches of land to each family towards the construction of these homes.
A typical Habitat house is designed to be a 550 square foot house which contains two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, toilet and verandah. The low-income families selected to receive homes through this housing project previously lived in single room temporary wooden huts with little to no protection from adverse weather conditions and intruders. These two communities are also highly susceptible to flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains and strong winds which occur during monsoon periods.
One of the 37 beneficiary families who are able to begin a new life in their Habitat home.
All 37 homes of the Kalutara Housing Project are lockable houses which have been designed to include disaster resilient features to minimize the risk of future disasters such as floods in accordance with the standards of the NBRO. The houses were built following a unique agency driven approach, with homeowner families contributing their unskilled labour towards the construction of their Habitat home. Habitat for Humanity refers to this unique process as “sweat equity”.
The Kalutara Housing Project has successfully supported more than 42 families and has thereby provided 162 individuals and 70 children with a safe and decent place to call their home. The sanitation facilities provided through this project has also promoted safe and healthy hygiene practices among these communities.
One of the beneficiaries of the Kalutara Housing Project; Vajira, remarked “This Habitat home is so much more than a house to my family – it is a relief to an otherwise difficult life, since I am the only income generator. At least now I can go to work knowing that my family is safe under our own roof”.
Yu Hwa Li – National Director of Habitat Sri Lanka opening a home at the Kalutara Housing Project Handover Ceremony
While addressing the gathering at the home dedication ceremony, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s National Director; Mr. Yu Hwa Li remarked, “The homes that Habitat for Humanity builds for these families, go far beyond being a strong foundation with walls around it – it is the beginning of a new life that will be a source of strength to a family and many generations to come”. Mr. Li also thanked the donors, volunteers and all individuals who have worked tirelessly to make this project a success and encouraged the community to protect their new homes and environment by being conscious about solid waste management at a community level.
Habitat homeowner families who received safe and decent homes through the Kalutara Housing Project.