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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Tsunami rebuilding: Sri Lanka has a long way to go …

[b]Tsunami rebuilding: Sri Lanka has a long way to go …[/b]

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting for Asian Tribune

[b] Colombo, 19 December, ([/b]Despite Sri Lanka needing approximately 78,000 permanent houses to home tsunami victims, only a mere 5000 houses will be completed by the end of this year, this was revealed by Oxfam International in its latest report released this week on the challenges in providing shelter for those affected after the tsunami.

The report titled 'a place to stay, a place to live' said, "In Sri Lanka, government sources told Oxfam that approximately 5,000 permanent houses out of the 78,000 needed will have been built by the end of the year, addressing just 6.4% of the need. Fifty per cent of the sites for some 39,000 homes will have to be on 'new' land, due to the buffer zone rule."

The report also urged the Governments and NGOs to be more realistic about how long it takes to construct good, permanent shelter. "There must be greater transparency with beneficiaries: people must understand why they have to wait for new homes and for how long," the report stressed.

"The governments of each of the three worst-hit countries (Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India) need to address delays caused by bureaucratic and political debates over the use and allocation of land for permanent shelter. In deciding such issues, tsunami-hit communities must also have their say. Governments must ensure that minority or vulnerable groups - such as women, members of socially excluded castes, those previously renting property are fairly treated and consulted in the granting of land and land titles."

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