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Jayani Adikarama

Jayani Jayani Adikarama serves as the Consultant/ Project Manager for the Minnesota Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation’s Village Re-building Project in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. Jayani coordinates the efforts of Government Authorities, building contractors and vendors. Jayani will shortly begin working with the local government—Pradeshiya Sabha on a Social Survey to determine livelihoods building efforts and skills of the people of the Village. She is also assessing the needs of the village community for the design of the Community Center. Jayani graduated from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in Marketing and Management Information Systems. Before moving to Sri Lanka she was a Financial Analyst for Metris Companies in Minneapolis Minnesota . She lived over 6 years in Minnesota.   

Jayani always enjoy working with people and working through their problems, taking care of sick and elderly. Because of of her Minnesota connection MnSLFF ask her help in the Village Rebuilding Project. She recollect that moment vividly " When you came the first time to Sri Lanka after the tsunami catastrophe and called me up asked me for some assistance, it was one of those moments that I felt I really got this rare opportunity to help out these poor victims devastated by the Killer Wave. Now I know the true feeling of satisfaction by getting involve in with MnSLFF and helping out with this noble work. We will soon be able to provide shelter and put a smile back on their faces... that is a great blessing which cannot be count in any means!"

Tilak Ratnayake

Tilak Ratnayake co-leads our Village re-building project together with Jayani. He counts 40 years of experience in Social Work in Sweden. He is spending his retirement in Sri Lanka he counts it a great blessing to be able to contribute to the work of the Foundation.

Meet our Contractors

MnSLFF sign the building Contract with Land Reclamation and Development Company (REDECO) in Sri Lanka to build 50 houses. General Manager Sajeewa Witharana and the Chief Engineer meeting with our representatives in Sri Lanka



Jayani's Journal:

:: Handing over Ceremony

Short Summary of Activities December 2005 Thru 10 Feb, 2006.

December 2005:
December 09:
Discussion with REDECO GM, Mr. Wijeratna and the engineer, Mr. Prasad at their head office in Colombo. The discussion was based on the handing over process of the housing project and fixing dates to make the final inspections.
December 11(Sunday): Mr. Tilak Ratnayake and I went to Monrovia to conduct the first of two house inspections requested by MnSLFF from contractors REDECO. Mr. Prasad, Mr. Wijeratna and Mr. Dinesh were in attendance.
December 19:
Second installment of the REDECO inspection to cover Mr. Thilakasiri’s lot of houses was carried out. Mr. Thilakasiri and Mrs. Subadra were in attendance in addition to REDECO inspection staff. Collected the first 25 names of the new recipient list issued by the Hikkaduwa DS office.
December 23:
Met Mrs. Subadra and her daughter at the site and provided them with details of the recipients and construction progress for a survey they were conducting on behalf of MnSLFF. Mrs. Subadra and daughter, Deepa both helped us to conduct the recipients’ survey at Monrovia.
December 25:
Final survey of houses to ascertain whether the problems discovered during the REDECO inspections have been corrected. This was not the case, and therefore, we were forced to hire an independent consultant to inspect the houses for their structural and aesthetic completeness.
December 27:
We interviewed 5 recipients from the new list issued by the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretaries office. In all, 20 recipients out of the 25 given in the list have been now been interviewed. We met Mr. Kumarasiri (Consulting Engineer) who was hired by MnSLFF to conduct an independent survey of the complete houses for their structural and aesthetic soundness. In all, 38 houses were inspected today and faults found in them were recorded and pointed out to the REDECO sub-contractors in attendance (Mr. Dinesh and Mr. Thilaksiri’s representative) and REDECO site officer (Mr. Pinnapola).
January 2006:

January 4:
We met with Hikkaduwa acting Government Agent, DS staff and THRU staff from Galle to discuss the opening ceremony procedures and plans. Picked up the names of the remaining list of 25 candidates from the Hikkaduwa DS office. Galle THRU office staff accompanied us to the construction site to do an opening ceremony layout and inspection at the site. We interviewed some of the new recipients who were on hand at the site, and also instructed them to clear the area of debris and brush. We drove back with THRU office staff to their office in Kalegana to pick up a list of vendors that provide material (stage, chairs, sound, etc.) and staff for the opening ceremony.
January 7:
Drove to Panadura and placed an order for the ceremonial plaque with Indika Stone Works We made arrangements with REDECO (Mr. Prasad) for the plaque to be delivered to the site on the 12th of January. Fax the documents regarding the opening ceremony to Mr. Lal Liyanapathiranage.
January 8:
Met with Mr. Kumarasiri and inspected the remaining 9 houses (3 were still under construction on Mr. Thilakasiri’s lot and could not be inspected). We received the inspection report from Mr. Kumarasiri. Set aside house 278 for Pioneer press guests to occupy during their stay at the site. Made arrangements with Mr. Thilakasiri to have house 278 furnished by the 12th of January. Moved an earth-stone found on site and made arrangements with Mr. Thilakasiri for the ceremonial plaque to be placed on it.
January 11:
Met with THRU officials at UDA- Battharamulla, to get the final confirmed for the plaque. Collected the official invitations from the THRU- Media Director. Drove to Panadura to make the final payment for the plaque.
January 12:
Met with Mr. Liyanapathiranage, Pioneer press visitors (Brian and Richard) and visited the Hikkaduwa DS office to meet the 50 recipient families face-to-face.We brought Silumina staff reporters with us to document the event. We discussed the opening ceremony procedures and day events with the Galle THRU staff, DS staff and recipient families. Toured the site and handed over keys to 17 families selected from the list who owned houses nearby to the ceremonial stage so that they can furnish their places before the 16th of January. Made arrangements with the Water Board to have 5 water tanks delivered to the site before the 16th January, to provide water for the site until permanent water connection is given in February. On our way to Colombo, we made arrangements with a caterer in Hikkaduwa to provide food for the opening ceremony.
January 15:
Day prior to the opening ceremony we there were on site to inspect the construction of the stage and guest accommodation tents on site. Galle THRU staff was also on hand to make sure that the work continued without a problem. Electricity has been provided for most of the houses on site and the rest were being connected as we toured the site. Visited the recipient houses to make sure that they were prepared for the ceremony the next day. Water tanks were on site and the ground was cleared of debris and brush.
January 16:
Opening ceremony started at 10.00 am. After the ceremony, paid the ceremony expenses to the THRU office at Kalegana.
January 28:
Attended a discussion with Mr Kumarasiri (CECB) and Mr.Lal Liyanapathiranage regarding the CC.
January 30th:
Met with Mr. Lal Liyanapathiranage and Mr. Kumarasiri at CECB (Baudhaloka Mawatta) to discuss the CC/pre school. We also met Gamunu Ekanayake of TAFREN to find out the VAT exemption.
February 2006

February 10:
We paid a visit to the site to find out the livelihood of the recipients. Engaged in another survey to re-analyze the basic house hold package. Conducted the final inspection of the houses with Mr. Kumarasiri and Mr. Pinnapola (REDECO). Mr. Thilakasiri and a representative from Mr. Dinesh’s site were also present. Had a discussion with Kapila from Tsunami Housing Rehabilitation Unit regarding the construction of the stand for the water tank. He gave us his estimates and Mr. Pinnapolla from REDEO will rectify the given numbers at the next meeting. Cleared the catering bill – Dinesh guest house and restaurant.
:: Dec.1st 2005- Dec.31st - Final Finishes & Handing over the houses

Final Finishes & handing over the houses

Building Inspection On December 27th we did our first technical audit at the construction site. It was a request that was made by the Mnslff in Minnesota to hire an independent Charted Civil Engineer to do a final inspection on our housing project before starting on the handing over process. Therefore, Mr. G. Kumarasiri (Charted Civil Engineer) from the Central Civil Engineering Consultancy Bureau of Sri Lanka was hired to do the job.

On the 27th Dec. he completed inspecting 26 houses, which included all the houses from Mr. Dinesh’s (subcontractor)site and four houses from Mr. Thilakasiri’s site. On the 29th Dec. we had the second inspection with Mr. Kumarasiri at Monrovia site. We managed to cover another ten houses at Mr. Thilakasiri’s (subcontractor)site. Mr. Thilakasiri has few houses where the roofs have not been completed. Mr. Kumarasiri will be giving us a detail report on all the houses once when the inspection completes. However, he pointed out few defects with the roofing in Mr. Dinesh’s site that needs to be rectifying before handing over the houses. The report that was made initially which regards to the 1st inspection has been handed over to REDECO by my self yesterday (29th Dec) in order for them to do the final corrections.

Prior to these inspections we did another inspection with REDECO and THRU technical officers on December 18th to find out the defects at the housing site.

The Beneficieries List - With the help of Mr. Alawattegama (CEO-THRU) we managed to get an approved list of 25 recipients. The Hikkaduwa District Sec has already assigned houses for these recipients from our housing (MNSLFF) project. The houses were given on a lottery basis.

On the 22nd Dec my self, my mom (Chandra), Subadra and Dileepa from Minnesota  interviewed 14 families from the given B List at a temp shelter in Monrovia. I also did two more interviews at different locations (Telwatta, Kahawa and Donanduwa) with the help of my family members. Therefore we managed to cover 20 recipients out of the 1st approved list. The second list of next 25 recipients will be given somewhere during next week.

Handing over the site – REDECO is planning to handover few of the houses (the first 25 houses) by the Jan 7th. We will then get the approval from the THRU office in order to handover the houses to the recipients. The 1st sets of people are planning to move to the new houses by the second week of Jan, 2006. At the moment 15 recipients which we believe as the most eligible are waiting to get their house keys.
These are mostly fishermen from the same area (Rathgama). Most of them lived very close to the sea (within the 100 m buffer zone) and lost all their belongings/houses and also loved ones due to Tsunami. Some only had their clothes when they were moved to the shelters after Tsunami. Among them were fishermen who owned few motor boats and had made good income out of fishing. Every family had a very sad story to share with us.

Community Center Plan – We have received 3 estimates for the construction of the CC from REDECO, Squire Mech Engineering (Pvt)Ltd and Dockyard Construction (Pvt)Ltd. The CCEB will be giving us their BOQ within the next couple of days.

:: Nov.10th 2005- Nov.28th - Plastering and Painting

Plastering and Painting

On Nov 28th Thilak and I paid a visit to the site. We did not see much of a progress from our last visit which was on the 9th Nov, mainly due to heavy rains and the presidential elections. The workers could not attend to work for more than 4 full days during the last two weeks. (But after talking to the supervisors at the site, I found out that they do work during the nights in order to accelerate the process). They also have increased the work force to more than 60 workers in both sites and workers have begun painting some of the houses where the plastering have been completed. We were also keen on checking out the conditions of the roofs, since it was after days of heavy rain. The floors on the houses weren’t damp but we did see few cracks on the roof tiles. The supervisors agreed to change the damaged tiles before handing over the houses.

Also the supervisors informed us about the bed room door issue which has been questioned by the THRU office. The concerns we have are; in the approved plan given by the UDA, the “bed room doors” item has not been included yet it has been approved by the authorities earlier. Therefore it has not been estimated in the BOQ as well. Since it’s a 600 sqfeet house the two main doors which are 3’0 x 7’0 plywood doors with double lever locks gives the security which is needed for the house. Since the rooms are quite small (10’x 11’) there could be concerns about the ventilation within the rooms as well as in the living/dining areas if the bed room doors were closed. Also the usage of a bed room door within the community is very minimal due to the fact that most people are used to door curtains made out of cloth to cover rooms instead of closed doors.

  • Internal and external plastering-
    Mr. Dinesh – has finished 11 houses and 11 to be completed.
    Mr. Thilakasiri – has finished 10 houses and 18 to be completed.

  • Putting up the roofs-
    Mr. Thilakasiri – completed 18 houses and 10 to be completed.
    Mr. Thilakasiri has doubled the work force to 40 in order to finish up roofing as well as to work on plastering and other. He still believes that he can finish the work by December 10th 2005.

  • Plumbing and electrical work –
    Mr. Dinesh – completed on all 22 houses
    Mr. Thilakasiri – completed on 15.

  • Construction of an outside passage which connects the kitchen and the bathroom.
    Mr. Thilakasiri – completed on 10 houses.

  • Internal and external painting –
    Mr. Dinesh – completed on 10 houses
    Mr. Thilakasiri – completed on 10 houses.
    Both contractors need to work on the door/window painting and polishing.

  • Community Center Plan – The final drawing has been hand delivered to Mr. Thilak Ratnayake by Mr Alawattegama (CEO- THRU ) on November 10. In the mean time Mr. Molligoda managed to work on the structural drawing and Mr. Thilak Ratnayake will receive it today (Nov 29th). We will be meeting the contactors this week.

  • The Beneficiaries List- We went to Hikkaduwa DS’s office yesterday (28th Nov) to find out that, they were not been able to put together our list. Out of the 50 recipients that were given to us earlier, 12 of them c an be included into the present list. The others have either given permanent housing elsewhere or they are considered as bad cases. Therefore, according to the officials we will get a new set of names by Monday, 5th Dec.
    The new list will include people who lived within the 100 meter buffer zone and those people who lost their houses completely or those who have damaged their houses partially due to Tsunami.

  • :: Sep.28th 2005- Nov.9th - The external and Internal Plastering

    The external and Internal Plastering on houses

    Thilak Ratnayake and my self visited the site on Nov 9th. The contractors have begun work on the internal and external plastering. Mrs. Asathi Iddagoda from Sydney, Australia joined us with her parents. Mrs. Asathi and her husband have contributed to the “Minnesota – Sri Lanka building a village project”.

    Internal and external plastering – Mr. Dinesh – has finished 5 houses and 17 to be completed. Mr. Thilakasiri – has finished 7 houses and 21 to be completed. According to the contractors the duration of completing the internal and external plastering per house is 2 days.

    Putting up the roofs- Mr. Dinesh – completed 22 houses Mr. Thilakasiri – completed 10 houses and 18 to be completed. According to the contractors the duration to put up a roof is one day which also depends on the work force. But Mr. Thilakasiri has issues finding the reapers in correct length -14 feet. Also we had to look in to few inquiries made by the THRU office in regard to the correction of our roof structure and the material that has been used in Mr. Thilakasiri’s site. Until the right measures have been taken Mr. Thilakasiri has to slow down the construction work at the site. But the issues have been iron out and Mr. Thilakasiri has doubled his work force in order to keep up with the dead lines. He is planning to complete all the houses by December 5th 2005.

    Plumbing and electrical work – Mr. Dinesh – completed on all 22 houses Mr. Thilakasiri – completed on 10 houses and on 18 houses needs to be completed.

    Construction of an outside passage which connects the kitchen and the bathroom. Mr. Dinesh – has finished on all 22 houses. Mr. Thilakasiri – needs to build on all 28 houses.

    Community Center Plan – The final drawing will be given on November 10 by UDA to Mr. Molligoda. Once when he receives the CC plan, it has to be taken to Mr. Prasanna Silva (DG- UDA) to get it stamped as an approved plan. Mr. Molligoda (a senior architect) who is voluntarily helping us to get the best possible design for a community center, handed over his version of the community center plan to UDA two weeks ago. Currently, He is also working with us on the structural drawing of the CC and also to find possible BOQs for the CC.,

    The Beneficiaries List- We completed interviewing 30 recipients by the end of last week (Nov 3rd) from the approved list given by the Hikkaduwa DS’s office. But last Thursday we found out that the list been provided by the Hikkaduwa DS’s office is no longer effective and that we will be given a new list instead. Yesterday, Nov 9th we paid a visit to the Hikkaduwa DS’s office and they informed us the new list will not be ready until further notice. Therefore we informed them about the interviews we already conducted and what we believed as true cases. They promised us to put those names into our new Blist after going through their screening process.

    Technological Center- Secretary to the Prime Minister – Mr. Lalith Weeratunga cannot be contacted until the end of presidential elections

    :: Sep.17th 2005- Sept.27th - Roof and Floor Finishes..

    Internal wiring and socket outlets

    On the 27th September, my self and Thilak Ratnayake visited the construction site. The main purpose of the visit was to discuss with REDECO on how the internal wiring/conduting and socket outlets needs to be fixed. Usually, these jobs will be completed at the time of internal plastering. Since REDECO has not been assigned to work on the plastering, they would want us to know the best possible way to complete the job before handing over the houses to us. The decisions were made to fix the sockets and the switch boxes temporarily on the unfinished walls.

    Mr. Prasad (REDECO- engineer) was present. The THRU technical officer at Monrovia or the UDA officials could not make it. But they will be informed about the new arrangements by Mr. Prasad. Another problem that we came across is handing over process of the site. According to Mr. Prasad, it would take another month and a half to finish up their main jobs and to work on the final inspection before handing over the site to us. As a safety precaution, once when REDECO finishes their work we need to immediately make necessary arrangements to get the plastering people on our site.

    The progress on the construction was much satisfactory on Mr. Dinesh’s site. He has finished putting the roofs on all houses. The smooth finish on floors has been made. On 5 of the houses the plinth plastering (outside foundation) been completed and others are progressing. Plumbing and electrical work has been started. Mr. Dinesh is planning to finish all his work by the end of next week. Mr. Thilakasiri has only completed one roof. After today’s meeting he promised us/REDECO that he will finish the roofing and the rest of the work by the end of October.

    :: Aug.4th 2005- Sept.16th - Planning to finish roofs..

    Contractor are working on putting up roofs

  • Visits to the Monrovia Estate– Paid few visits to the Construction site on the 24th of August, 1st of September and on the 6th of September. Mr. Asitha Sandanayake from Minnesota joined us on the 1st of September to visit the site at Monrovia, Hikkaduwa.

  • Construction of "Calicut"  tile roof Both contractors are working on putting up roofs. Mr. Dinesh has completed 15 roofs and he is planning to finish the roofing by the end of next week (by 23rd Sep). Mr. Thilakasiri has only completed 5 of the roofs. He is also planning to finish all the roofs by the end of the month.

  • Sand Issue - Sand issue became one of the biggest problems the contractors came across during the last few weeks. Due to the fact that the government has restricted giving sand permits through out the island. Therefore we decided to go to the authorities to clear out the matter. Mr. Alawattegama (CEO of Tsumani Housing Reconstruction Unit under TAFREN) helped us in great deal to find a solution. With the help of the Urban Development and water supply minister he was able to provide us washed sea sand as a substitute for river sand. The sea sand will be available for local contractors from Boosse -Galle.

  • Plastering of the houses - We are working with the contractors as well as with out side sources to get a better estimate on pricing.

  • Discount on cement – With the help of Mr. Alawattegama (CEO- THRU) our contractors were given discount coupons to buy cement for Tsunami housing construction.

  • Revised payment plan – On the 29th of Aug: my self, Mr. Thilak Ratnayake and Mr. Asitha Sandanayake met with the REDECO team to discuss the cash flow issue. REDECO agreed with us to issue bills every other week instead of once a month. This was requested by the sub contractors due to the fact that they fall short of their regular cash flow because of heavy investments they make on material costs.

  • Community Center Plan – After paying number of visits to Mr. Hemantha Jayasundara (Director – Tsunami Housing Programmed) office we managed to get the amended Community Center plan in to our hands. Miss Geethani (architect incharge of the community center planning) gave her thoughts on the plans designed by the Minnesota Humanitarian society. As I requested she drafted a detailed email on their comments and was sent to our MnSLFF president - Mr. Lal Liyanapathiranage. The original plan presented by the UDA was a design of Jeffery Bahwa. According to the UDA, they would like us to continue with the same plan which was presented to us by them with minimal changes.

  • Technological Center- I had a brief discussion with the private Secretary to the Prime Minister – Mr. Lalith Weeratunga. Prime minister – Honorable Madinda Rajapaksa has launched a program to open up 1000 computer centers through out Sri Lanka within the next couple of months. Therefore with the community center in place we would also like to get linked to this program in order to put up a computer center within our community center project. Mr. Laith Weeratunga invited me to another discussion in the coming weeks on how to develop our proposal in Monrovia Community center project.

  • Beneficiaries List – Finally we made it. Mr. Asitha Sandanayake, Mr. Thilak Ratnayake and I managed to interview four families on our 1st of September visit to Galle. We are waiting to get the questionnaire from the Minnesota chapter in order to work on the survey of the livelihoods of our beneficiaries.

  • :: July 7th - Aug.4th 2005 Door/Window frames are fixed

    Most of the Houses are near completion

  • Housing construction – Paid a visit to the Construction site on the 3rd of August.
    Most of the houses are near to completion. The door/window frames are fixed. Mr. Dinesh’s sites, some of the decorative concrete columns have been added to houses. We also inspect the concrete louvers that have been built on the site. By next few weeks, the builders will begin on putting up the roofs.

  • Plastering the houses- However, we do have an issue on final finishes of these houses. It is a requirement of the UDA to handover a reasonably finished house. Which means at least the internal/external plastering on all walls. When we originally signed the agreement with REDECO these items are not been added to their BOQ because of the cost associated on them.
    Since this became a requirement of the UDA, we are in the process of getting BOQs to finalize on this matter. I have already fax two documents to Minnesota regarding this for further investigation. I also have to consult a civil engineer/quantity surveyor to clarify on certain criteria given on these BOQs.
    Mr. Sajeewa Witharana from REDECO also showed his concerns on working with us regarding this matter.

  • Payment issues - Mr. Sajeewa Witharana (GM at REDECO) Mr. Somaweera Chandrasiri (Chairman of LRC) and Mr Jayasekera (V.Chairman of REDECO) helped us in great deal to clear out the delayed payment issue. Therefore the contractors were able to continue work without shutting down our site. New payment plan - Since the contractors have expedite the work process in order to complete the work at the site within 5 months instead of 8 months we need to re-evaluate the payment plan. We already got the input from both REDECO and the contractors regarding this. We are hoping to come up with a better plan to compensate the contactors by next two weeks.

  • Water supply – The Water Supply Board has called tenders last month (July) to lay pipe lines in Monrovia Estate.

  • Community Center Plan - Mr Hemantha Jayasundara is back at his office. When I spoke to him this morning (5th Aug), he informed me about the email that’s been sent regarding the community center plan. However, he won’t be able to attend to it until next week. I’m planning to pay a quick visit next week, to his office to find out about the developments on this.

  • Beneficiaries List – Finally it’s ready. After going through many harsh visits to the Hikkaduwa pradeshiya sabha, they finally have the list done. But the officials are waiting to get approval from the divisional secretary for them to handover the documents to us. Maybe it might take another 2 or 3 visits and influencing officials to finally get it into our hands…
  • :: June 24 - July 6th Construction is very much satisfactory

    The Builders are ahead of the time line

  • Housing construction – The construction at the site is very much satisfactory. The builders are ahead of the time line that’s been given by REDECO. The foundation has been laid on all houses. The contactors have started building the walls. 4 of the houses are almost to the point of completion. REDECO management- REDECO has appointed a new GM, Mr Sujeewa Vitharana. Also a new site engineer has been appointed from July 4th. He will start working with us shortly. Mr. Sujeewa Vitharana touched based with us on the 4th July regarding our project and the on going problems we had regarding the housing plan.

     We are very pleased to announce that he has been able to clear the matter with UDA. Mr. Jayasekera, the vice chairman at REDECO spoke to me today (July 6th) and informed that the matter has been solved between the UDA and REDECO regarding our housing plan and he will fax the final approval to us. We also should give credit to Mrs. Shyama Gunawardena (former GM at  REDECO) and very specially to Mr. Gunapala (our former site engineer) for their countless efforts to keep this project going without delays. Sand Issue- Mr.Gunapala (former site engineer) managed to get the sand permits approved to both our contactors last week (23rd June) through UDA and the Hikkaduwa Pradeeshiya Sabha.
     Miscellaneous issues-
    • 1. Mr. Thilakasiri suggested that he would be using another local timber instead of Kempus (which is an imported timber) to put up the roofs etc. He has already spoken to REDECO and has got approval on it. From the foundation’s stand point, I told him about my concerns regarding the UDA approval as well. He will work on that.
    • 2. There had been a delay in providing cement blocks to the site from REDECO. Therefore, Mr.Thilakasiri has taken approval from REDECO to build his own cement blocks at the site using machines. The quality of the cement blocks will be examined from time to time by an official from REDECO.
    • 3. Mr. Thilakasiri also made a complaint that there has been a delay in the payment process. I already informed Mr. Jayasekera (the VC) and Mr. Vitharana (GM) regarding this matter.
    • Water supply – The housing project will be given a water line once when the construction is over. The minister of water supply has shown his concerns on this. I touched based with him on this issue as well as few others last week.
    • Community center plan- Miss Geethani (architect, UDA) completed the plan last Thursday (30th June). But Mr. Hemantha Jayasundara has failed to email it until today (July 6th). He informed me that he would be sending out the email as soon as possible. Most probably today (July 6th). The community center is a two storied 4000sqfeet building which includes a preschool/community center/ library. Handing over the community center to the pradeeshiya sabha- Still debatable. However, after speaking to the Minister of Urban Development and housing, he suggested that we should also contact the provincial council on this matter. But it is more likely that they will take control after the next year’s budget allocations. (no specific date can be given)
    • Beneficiaries List – According to the Hikkaduwa pradeshiya sabha, they have received information/verifications regarding 15 families. It’s another 2 weeks to a month wait to get the information regarding the rest of the families.
  • :: June 17 2005: Construction Work is in Progress

    REDECO is going forward with the construction work

    Mrs. Shyama Gunawardena (DG- REDECO)
    Housing Plan - REDECO is discussing with the UDA officials to get their plan re-approved under the Tsunami housing project. Last two weeks REDECO had number of meetings with the officials at Ministry of Urban Development and Water Supply regarding these issues.

     According to Mrs. Shyama Gunawardena (DG- REDECO) that Mr. Dharmasiri and Mr. Alawatta (DGs at UDA) have asked REDECO to produce a feasibility report before Monday (19th June). REDECO also acknowledge that the minister of Urban Development and Water Supply Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena also has given instructions to carry-on with their construction and in the mean time to resolve the plan issue with the authorities in a timely manner. Therefore the work at the site is moving as scheduled. By Monday the 19th of June, REDECO is expected to hear a final word from the UDA regarding the Housing plan. By Friday 16th June - Mr. Thilakasiri has finished laying the foundation on 26 housing units. Mr. Dinesh – has finished 18 units.

  • Sand Issue- The sand permits have not been issued by Mr. Hemantha Jayasundara of UDA due to the unresolved “plan crisis”. This has not affected the construction work. The subcontractors have found the sand they required in various means.

  • Community Center/ Pre-school Plan -Mr. Hemantha Jayasundara’s (at UDA) architects are working on the plan. We received a draft of the community center/pre school on Friday. One of the architects, Miss Nandani who is in charge of our project promised us that she will complete the plan and hand-over it by Thursday 22nd June. (??)

  • Beneficiaries List- The Hikkaduwa Divisional secretary’s office said that the list could be completed/delivered by the end of the Month. They still have not received the inputs from the Grama-seva-official (village official) of Gammadegoda, Hikkaduwa. Usually it akes more than two weeks for the village official to get comments/objections from the villagers regarding the beneficiaries. (I’m guessing it could even get delay more than two weeks)
  • :: June 7, 2005: I just spoke to Mr. Gunapala
    I just spoke to Mr. Gunapala (the chief engineer at REDECO). Here are the latest
    1. The plots the contractors already have laid the foundation; they will be putting up the houses according to the original plan. (By yesterday Thilakasiri has finished 11 and Dinesh has finished -7)
    2. The UDA has made some alterations with the plan.
    a) The veranda should come in the middle/not from a side and it should be lower than the main floor.
    b) The bathroom door should not be kept from the bedroom area. It should open up to the dinning /kitchen – but they want to still check on that
    c) They also want to move the bathrooms out of the house- The main reason is it’s good to have bathrooms if it’s an urban house but these are rural houses and they think the people who are going to live in these houses are used to bathrooms out side. But I told them that we want to keep the bathrooms inside and it was mentioned before By Thilak Ratnayake and Becky too.
    3. The sand/discount on cement issue- The UDA has prepared some letters and these will be given to Mr. Thilakasiri and Dinesh today By Mr. Gunapala.
    4. I also spoke to Mr. Thilakasiri (Sub-Contractor) yesterday– They are going to finish it ahead of the time they have planned before. He said within “3 and a half months”. Hope everything will go smooth (touch wood!!!). I hope we can count on that. But it’s early to make predictions.
    5. Also Mr. Gunapala said that they will be having a Meeting with Mr. Somaweera Chandrasiri (chairman) to discuss on the proposals given by the UDA regarding the housing plan.
    :: June 6, 2005: First Inspection Visit

    Preparing ground and laying foundation

    Thilak Ratnayake and my self visited the construction site on the 1st of June. After the foundation stone ceremony this was the 1st official visit to check the status of our construction site.  The two contractors, Mr. Thilakasiri and Mr. Dinesh are working very hard.
    Both of them have lay foundation on 6 houses and Mr. Thilakasiri has prepared the ground for four more houses to lay the foundation on them.  Mr. Dinesh also has finished up the 8 blocks in preparing the ground.  The main infrastructure facilities have been established. The site has water and electricity to get the work flow going.

    When we went to the site Mrs. Shyama Gunawardena, the GM of REDECO was also present.  She wanted to find out the progress as well as what the issues both contractors are facing. However, the contractors informed us that they have a problem finding sand. The govt has restricted on issuing permits to dig/transport sand.  They said if it’s not going to get solved they might not be able to finish it as planned before.  REDECO will try to find a solution with the help of UDA.  We will also be contacting Mr. Hemantha Jayasundara (UDA) regarding this issue as soon as we go back to Colombo. 

    Also, UDA is working on a solution to move 4 blocks from our construction site to an adjacent land. The reason for this is these 4 blocks has a problem accessing the road. It’s a responsibility of the UDA to plan out properly in order to have proper road access.

    The beneficiaries List

    On the way to Monrovia Estate we stopped at the Hikkaduwa Divisional Secretary’s office to collect the list of the beneficiaries.
    They have not prepared the original list. But they informed us that they will be selecting Tsunami affected victims only from Gammadegoda, Rathgama area.
    Once when they put together a list of names it has to go through the village official –“Grama seva niladari” to find out whether these cases are true Tsunami victims. Although the officials said it can be prepared in few days we assume it might take few weeks to go through the screening process.  But we got their contact information so that we can call and find out the progress on that.

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