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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Opening of USAID-Funded Roads and Drainage Systems in Pottuvil, Ampara

Colombo 29 February, ( The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) announced the opening of the newly-constructed eight km of low maintenance, durable roads and drainage structures throughout the Pottuvil division of the Ampara District.

In the past, the roads flooded and became almost impassable; today, with the professionally-constructed roads and drainage structures, residents and visitors can travel with ease. The finished roads have had a major impact on the community in Pottuvil. Because the roads are now paved, the reduction of dust in the town is significant. Additionally, the local population’s access to many essential services, including schools, health clinics and places of worship, has been dramatically improved by the new transportation systems.

USAID, the U.S. Government agency in charge of delivering development assistance from the American people, funded the project, and UNOPS implemented its construction.

For the opening ceremony, USAID and UNOPS welcomed representatives from local government and the community. They were joined by AHM Ansar, Divisional Secretary, ALM Asmy, Assistant Divisional Secretary, AL Mohamed Rauf, Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, and AM Abdul Majeed, Opposition Leader, Pradeshiya Sabha. Mike Gould, Senior Engineer from USAID was joined by Rainer Frauenfeld, Fergus Gleeson and Fraser Sparks from UNOPS.

The project began in September 2006, with the initial work being done on the construction yard in Pottuvil. In December 2006, work began on a concrete block casting yard. In March 2007, the concrete blocks produced at the casting yard were used to begin the road construction. In December 2007, just over one year after the project began, the entire eight km network of roads and drainage systems was successfully completed.

The end result did more than just produce roads and drainage, it created jobs and experience. It also built human capital. The concrete block construction yard created in excess of 50,000 labor days with a workforce of some 400 laborers, significantly improving individual livelihoods and the overall economy of the tsunami- and conflict-affected town of Pottuvil.

- Asian Tribune –

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