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Revitalization in Thampakamam area

Time flies, and 2016 is almost over. I would like to report on developments in the Thampakamam area of Kilinochchi District, where JEN is providing assistance through a local project.

The Thampakamam area had been under military control until quite recently. The land was handed back to former residents in December 2015, who started coming back to resume their lives in the area in January 2016. Houses, water sources, and vegetation were destroyed by intense combat during the civil war.

Since the area was held by the military following the end of the war, there had been no sign of reconstruction even 6 years after the war. When JEN visited the area in May 2016 for a baseline survey of the income, poverty levels, and living conditions of the project participants, what we found there was a desert, which is not supposed to exist in Sri Lanka.

About 155 families in the area were dependent on two public wells built by the government and two water tanks supplying 2000 litres each day, so it was impossible to secure enough water for agriculture.

Many of the houses were simple structures of thin concrete walls covered with palm leaves or tin sheets, and some of the families were still living in tents.

[Thampakamam area in May 2016]

After seven months, most of the families have started building their houses with government support. The construction of 13 wells supported by JEN was completed in October, and we are in the final stage of construction of the agricultural cooperative association center, which is designed for people in the community to gather and work together.

The rainy season started in November, and large-scale agriculture was resumed for the first time in this area after the civil war.

Farming activities are taking place using seeds and seedlings distributed in late November, as well as water retrieved from the wells. In the Thampakamam area, which had been covered by sand back in May, we can now see houses, wells, fences set up between houses, and a green landscape thanks to resumed agriculture.

It gives JEN staff delight and a sense of achievement to see the extent of development carried out by the residents in such a short period.

[Construction of wells in the Thampakamam area]

[Kids excited with distribution of seeds and seedlings]

2016 was a year of many changes for the residents of Thampakamam area. Also for JEN’s Sri Lanka team, it was a year of much learning through working step by step with the local people for enriched lives in the community. 4 months remain until the completion of JEN’s current project.

Many tasks remain for JEN, including establishing an agricultural cooperative and boosting its activities, and further promoting agriculture.

JEN’s staff are committed to working together with the local people to strengthen the community’s self-reliance, and looking forward to contributing to their development and sharing their joy in the coming April.

We appreciate your continuous support through 2017.

[Participants of the project in the Thampakamam area]       

[Vegetation coming back to the Thampakamam area]

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December 15, 2016 in Sri Lanka |