USAID project to revitalize harbors in Southern towns
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 11:38 GMT]
As part of the Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the US inaugurated an initial phase of a project costing Rs 21m to revitalize fishing harbor in Southern town of Hikkaduwa, as well as at harbors in Mirissa and Puranawella, a press release issued by the US embassy in Colombo said Wednesday.
Felix Perera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and USAID Mission Director Dr. Carol Becker. Photo: USAID/Zack Taylor
The full text of the press release follows:
U.S. Begins Fishing Harbor Rehabilitation
Project to 'build back better' three tsunami-damaged facilities
HIKKADUWA, June 28, 2006-The United States marked today the start of a wide-ranging project to benefit the tsunami-damaged fishing industry in Sri Lanka at a ceremony in this coastal town inaugurating the first phase of an overall revitalization of this fishing harbor, as well as at harbors in Mirissa and Puranawella.
The project is a key element of the Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It was developed in partnership with the Ceylon Fishery Harbor Corporation under the aegis of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The three-month initial phase of the project will include Rs. 21 million in water and sanitation improvements, and upgraded piers with new fenders and bollards to increase docking capacity at the harbors. It will be followed by the project's major works, an 18-month repair and upgrade of damaged quays and breakwaters, and dredging at two of the three harbors.
"Repairing these tsunami-damaged fishing harbors affords us the opportunity to improve their capacity and help improve an industry that is vital to individual livelihoods and these communities as well as having an important role in the economy of the South," said USAID Mission Director Dr. Carol Becker at a ceremony to dedicate a plaque at the project site. "A key element of this reconstruction is promoting interaction between the community organizations and state agencies to facilitate planning and operation of the harbors to the benefit of fishermen, their families, and the entire industry."
Also addressing the project's kickoff ceremony were Hon. Felix Perera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Chairman of Ceylon Fishery Harbors Corporation Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, and Mr. Teny Mittal, Chief of Party for USAID's SLTRP contractor CH2M Hill.
Complementing the work at the harbors is a participatory coastal management and governance component that aims to support the local government and district level administrative offices to improve local services, environmental sustainability and long-term growth of these coastal areas.
The USAID's reconstruction program also includes construction of a new Arugam Bay Bridge and reconstruction or rehabilitation of 10 vocational schools, including two all-new state-of-the-art schools utilizing environmentally-conscious "green" technology.