ADB funds new project for North-East rehabilitation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 18:18 GMT]
A new four-year development project called Conflict Affected Area Rehabilitation Project (CAARP), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), is to be launched in the North and East with effect from January 1st 2004. The objective of the project is to support rehabilitatation of essential infrastructure and restoration of community livelihoods in the most severely conflict-affected areas of the North and East, predominantly in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai, CAARP sources said.

The estimated total cost of the project is US $ 106.9 million. The ADB will provide US $ 80.0 million and US$ 26.9 million by the GOSL. The project implementation period will be four years from January 2004 to December 2007. The loan agreement is expected to be signed by the end of December this year. The memorandum of understanding between the parties concerned has already been signed, sources said.

Components of the CAARP project are: 1. Road Rehabilitation 2. Power and Electrification 3. Community Restoration and Development 4. Jaffna Water Supply (feasibility study) 5. Project co-ordination and others.

“CAARP will address urgent needs of the almost 2 million conflict affected people in the project areas. Many are physically disabled people, women who head households and children. These people are now beginning to rebel their lives in an area that has been either devastated by conflict or suffered through many years of neglect. In particular, the beneficiaries will be communities served by the project’s roads, the electricity and the small scale activities undertaken under the project’s community restoration and development component,” it was said in a document circulated at the first meeting of the CAARP Project Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) held Monday at the provincial health ministry auditorium with the Chief Secretary of the NEPC Mr.S.Rangarajah in the chair.

All government agents in the North and East except the Amparai district attended the first PCC of the CAARP.

The first component, Road Rehabilitation that is to be implemented at a cost of US $ 45.6 million US will include reconstruction of about 500 km of national roads and replacement of small roadway bridges. Under the power and electrification component, reconstruction of 75 km long transmission line from Vavuniya to Killinochchi, and rehabilitation of distribution network, and rural electrification including substations would be implemented at an estimated cost of US $ 33.0 million.

Rehabilitation of education and health facilities and rural access roads, smaller-scale water-supply, irrigation and sanitation system and community infrastructure rehabilitation and activities, such as schools, water supplies, health centres, minor roads, renewable energy, income generation opportunities, and other community livelihood restoration activities, for conflict-affected communities throughout the project area would take place at an estimated cost of US $ 23.8 million under the fourth component Community Restoration and Development, CAARP document revealed.

For the road rehabilitation component, the executive agency (EA) will be the Ministry of Highways and the implementing agency (IA) will be the Road Development Authority. For Power and Electrification component, EA will be the Ministry of Power and Energy and the IA will be the Ceylon Electricity Board. For the component Community Restoration and Development the EA will be the Ministry of Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Government and the IA will be the North east Provincial Council. For the component Jaffna Water Supply the EA will be the Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure and the IA will be the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. The NEPC will also be responsible for overall project co-ordination.

A National Project Committee (NPC) will be established to oversee overall project implementation at the national and the committee will be co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government and Ministry of Highways and will include the Chief Secretary of the NEPC and representatives of Ministry of Power and Energy, Ministry of Policy development and Implementation, Commissioner General for relief Rehabilitation and Reconciliation, Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Refugees, Ministry of eastern development and Muslim Religious Affairs, Ministry assisting Vanni Rehabilitation, the implementing agencies and the ADB.

The Project Co-ordination Committee (PCC) will be established within the NEPC to co-ordinate project activities, to maintain effective high-level contact with the LTTE, to ensure proper implementation of the project and to resolve project-wide implementation issues. Supported by a small Secretariat, the PCC will be chaired by the Chief Secretary of the NEPC, and will comprise representatives from all implementing agencies and will meet at least quarterly in Trincomalee, CAARP sources said.

According to a study held during the fact-finding mission in preparation to the CAARP project, the conflict-affected areas experience poverty levels, estimated to rank from 60 % to 90 %, which are much higher than the rest of the country.


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