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03/03/2016

Visitation of East Batticaloa

On February 26, JEN together with officials from the Japanese Embassy, one of our donors, visited East Batticaloa prefecture where assistance for recovering agricultural livelihood took place from around 2010 to 2012.

Batticaloa is a prefecture facing the ocean and about 320 km away from Colombo: a major city. It is known as the last fierce battlefield of the conflict that worsened in late 2006, and where over 80,000 refugees resided for a while. For two years, JEN constructed 69 agricultural wells for 552 households, established well management committees consisting of local people, and conducted livelihood assistance toward low-income areas through distribution of vegetable and seedling as well as workshops to strengthen the community.

We visited five wells, and upon hearing of around 10 households, we found out that almost all households there had gained much more income through agriculture, and that well management committees had provided maintenance for wells and pumps on a regular basis.

While one family had 1,000 to 1,500 rupees as monthly income before the project started, it became apparent that by selling vegetables and fruits from their own firm, they could gain around 20,000 to 40,000 rupees as monthly income (1,000 rupees =approx. 785 yen). 

In addition, not only did they raise basic mixed crops, but they also shared each responsibility of making different kinds of crops and divided their income among the members of the community, which proved that they utilized our workshop.
Furthermore, families made the well available for not only the participants of JEN’s project, but also for the whole community. There was also another
community  that improved their capabilities by creating a 1km water supply line by connecting a pipe to the well.   

Upon questioning each household about what they had gained from increasing their income, it was revealed that there were many households that had expanded their farms by purchasing land, new pumps, and tractors to cultivate and bring agricultural crops to the market. As a result, we could find out that our assistance continuingly brought good impact. In addition to that, there was a ripple effect such as children being able to return to school again because of the livelihood recovery.

Although assistance for recovering livelihood normally takes a few years to bring about an effect, as in the case of the people in Batticaloa, we are going to continue providing assistance by utilizing our knowledge on JEN’s well and agriculture, and lead to make the community become financially independent and this develops their self-help efforts for it.

[The vegetables which has been just gathered]
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[Well with the quantity of water for which the dry season is also enough]
20160303_sl_02_well


[The JEN staff who asks people in an area for opinions]
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[The simple water supply pipeline]
20160303_sl_04_pipeline





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March 3, 2016 in Sri Lanka |