When AssistRR visited Sri Lanka in March 2019, Dr Namasivayam (Sivanarulillam) asked AssistRR to visit a couple of villages in Batticaloa District to assess their needs. As a result, we visited Elichchi & Singarathoppu villages near Vantharumoolai on Sunday, 17th March. There are 65 families including women and children living in Elichchi village without a single toilet, proper shelters and without access to good quality water for their daily needs. A few photos showing their toilet, pre-school and a well are given below. First photo given below is their typical toilet covered by coconut leaf tiles (or kiduku in Tamil). They dig a hole, use it for passing motion in the morning, and then close it. It is their permanent place, move from one spot to anther within that small space. Very hard to imagine how they manage their day-to-day morning rituals in this day and age. Second photo is their dilapidated preschool building. Third photo is their typical well. A metal drum is inserted into the ground to stabilise the well. Water is stained with metal corrosion. They use this water for cleaning, bathing, and farming. They walk a long distance to fetch drinking water as the water from these wells is contaminated with metal corrosion. Please click here to view more photos of their living conditions.
We shared the story with like minded organisations. Mrs Shanthanadevi Kaneshanathan of Children Hunger Relief Fund (CHRF) from UK immediately responded and promised to fund wells for the 65 families in Elichchi Village. We received quotations of Rs 50k – 70K from local contractors for one well. However, our Sri Lankan NGO President, Eng Henry Amalraj, came up with a design and plan to construct one well for Rs 35k. Construction of these wells are progressing very well with the support of CHRF. We are grateful to CHRF for coming forward and for solving their water problem permanently. In particular, we express our gratitude to Mr Krishanthan Jogeeswaran UK, whose donation of £5000 to CHRF was utilised towards this project. This donation of £5000 enabled the construction of 31 wells. We received a photo recently after the completion of a well. The house owner immediately after the completion started having a shower with his clothes on (track bottom and shirt). It shows how eager they have been to have a well in their lands. Following our visit, Henry Amalraj also held talks with the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) regarding houses and toilets for these families. NHDA have now started building houses and toilets using government funds. More photos for the progress made so far are given here. These photos show progress of house building in the village and construction of concrete rings for ring wells. Assist RR will renovate/rebuild the pre-school soon.