Written by Tharushan Fernando
03 Mar, 2016 | 8:44 pm
Sri Lanka’s largest people-oriented campaign, the News 1st Gammedda Door to Door initiative marked its ninth day on Thursday.
Mullaitivu is an area that was cloaked by three decades of suffering.The Gammedda Door to Door campaign came across many bitter tales from the area.
The mother and daughter pictured here are striving to rise on their own despite being affected by the conflict.
In 2009, the mother and three children were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were in the direct path of a shell attack in Vishvamadu. The mother lost her only son and younger daughter while the other daughter,like her mother, suffered serious injuries. At present, they have been deprived of the Rs.3000 government allowance and are living amidst many hardships.
The locals from Mannankeni in Pachchilaipalli are those who were displaced by the war. These people lost everything: but their lives. They were given only Rs.25,000 to build a house, which was only adequate to purchase cement and several steel sheets. Though they are the recipients of a tent provided by an international organisation and live in a house built on Rs.25,000, their major concern is access to drinking water.
The farmers who provide for the nation reached out to the News 1st Gammedda Door to Door Campaign, and presented their issues. These people who live right next to the Guruwila Forest Reserve in Anuradhapura face the constant threat from wild elephants. As a precaution to this state of affairs, they have set up lime and Palmyrah trees. However, they appeal for a permanent measure to protect their crops and their lives.
In 2012, the Isura Dahara Water System was launched to provide a relief to the three villages that were facing a drinking water issue. However, the water that is provided to the 570 families across a number of villages, is different to what is provided to the others.
One News 1st Team in the Southern Province reached out to the villages of Kirinda, Siriyagama, Sooriyapalana and Konepalana. When News 1st visited the Konepalana village, the locals raised their issues surrounding the illegal sand-mining taking place in the Kirindi-Oya.
Locals say that erosion is not the only issue, adding that sand-mining also creates a safe haven for alligators to breed. A month ago, a villager fell prey to an alligator.
The News 1st Gammedda Door to Door Campaign also visited Gurudana in Hambantota where the locals are facing a plethora of issues.
The village of Gurudana, home to around 50 families face the primary issue of the lack of electricity. These plants that have been set up opposite the houses is the only safety measure for these locals against wild elephants. They spend their time during the day at home, while at night they spend the night atop the trees.
The News 1st Gammedda Door to Door Campaign is supported by the University of Peradeniya and will take place until March 18.
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