The Water for Life Project

Reconstruction of war damaged wells for 48 families resettling back to their homes to restart their livelihoods

  • Description

Reconstruction of war damaged wells for 48 families resettling back to their homes to restart their livelihoods

Why are we doing this?

For Rani living in rural Northern Sri Lanka, water is everything. Water is life. It is what will nourish her family, enable her to cultivate her land and earn an income so she can put food on the table.

We will be restoring 10 common wells that have been damaged by war to benefit 48 families who will use it for drinking water and for their farms so they can re-establish their livelihoods.

Why is it so important?

The families in the village of Valalaai fled over 2 decades ago and have not seen their homes since. Although the war ended in 2009, this village was classified a high security zone, and so they are only now being allowed to return to their homes. But with one of the worst civil wars having damaged the area, what they are returning to is ground zero – damaged homes, wells and little infrastructure. To restart their lives and continue their journey out of poverty, water is critical.

How will it work?

We have identified an agricultural village where we know that restoring wells will not only provide drinking water but a sustainable livelihood. We have identified 48 families in the village and based on that 10 wells that need to be restored. Each well is a common well and through a deed, provides a right to a certain number of families to access the well. We will work with the families, requiring their labour contribution, to restore the wells so that the water quality is safe for drinking and for agricultural purposes.

The benefits

  • Access to drinking water for 48 families. Currently drinking water needs to be purchased or is supplied by the government for these families

  • Access to water to re-establish their livelihoods

  • Regenerating their lands through cultivation

  • Food security through crops grown at home for their consumption

  • Increase income from agriculture to support basic needs and improve economic well being

How are we ensuring sustainability?

Sustainability is critical in all our projects. We know we have to leave and when we do, our work and efforts must not only continue but grow. This can only occur through ownership in the community. Families will be required to contribute to the well reconstruction to ensure this. Furthermore, we will provide maintenance training to all families and transfer new knowledge on water quality testing so that they are able to manage the wells going forward. We have engaged the local village leaders, and with them will establish an ongoing monitoring system so that they can ensure that the 10 wells continue to provide for the village.

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