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Australia-World Vision provide safe drinking water in Jaffna

21 April 2015 07:35 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Responding to an immediate need for safe drinking water in the Jaffna District, World Vision Lanka on request from the Government of Sri Lanka has commenced water distribution with funding from the Australian aid programme.
This project addresses the immediate issue of contaminated ground water and the shortage of clean water in Uduvil and Thellipalai divisions, which is an ongoing problem. The number of affected people who will receive assistance is estimated at 21,668 people (6,876 families), nearly 50 percent of the affected population, including a large number of children. 
World Vision will also distribute 6,600 10-litre capacity jerry cans to vulnerable families such as female headed households and those with a large number of dependents, so that beneficiaries can transport and store the water as required.
Australian development assistance focuses on poverty reduction, with programmes located in lagging regions across the country.  
Australian High Commission Counsellor for Development Charlotte Blundell said, “The Australian government has stepped in to assist in this situation, following requests from government officials in Jaffna and Colombo. 
We are proud to partner with World Vision in addressing this urgent need. We also welcome the advances being made by local authorities in the north to put in place a long-term solution that ensures a safe and secure water supply for all families in Jaffna for many years to come.” 
World Vision will work closely with the District Disaster Management Unit and the District Secretariat and the appointed Task Force to address the prevailing issue. Two hundred thousand litre capacity water tanks and stands will be handed over to the District Secretary. 
World Vision will also loan four of its own water bowsers to divisional secretariats and local governments. In line with the drinking water distribution plan as announced by the Divisional Secretariat, the water will be delivered to the water tanks that will be installed at strategic and easily accessible locations throughout the villages. Around 15 litres of drinking water will be available to each person daily, during the project period of three months.
Speaking about this endeavour, World Vision Lanka National Director Suresh Bartlett said, “The lack of access to clean drinking water in Jaffna has been an issue that World Vision has been looking to address through its long-term development programmes. The issue of contaminated water has further aggravated the situation. Thanks to the generous funding of DFAT and partnership with all arms of government, we are able to assist the affected population.”
The families in the targeted areas will also receive health promotion information and hygiene awareness.
Over the years, population growth, environmental degradation including improper solid waste dumping, salt water intrusion, unrestricted use of fertilizers and pesticides, etc., have aggravated the problem of ground water contamination in the Jaffna District. Particularly in Chunnakam the problems faced were further compounded recently due to waste oil from a power plant which began contaminating ground water sources. 
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