Clearance of community wells

The fund-raising for this project has been stopped on Fengarion
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Total donations 1 044 CHF
Domain of project :Humanitarian Relief
Region of project :Asia and Pacific
Country of project :Sri Lanka
Languages : English

Project summary

Clearance of wells contaminated with explosive remnants of war for communities in north-east Sri Lanka 25 years of civil war in Sri Lanka has left behind a legacy of unexploded ordnance, landmines and other dangerous items that impact the civil population, particularly in the North and East of the country. Roads, houses and fields are not accessible in many locations. Civilians who ran away from the war are returning to their home areas now despite the risk that the debris of war poses to them. UNHCR estimates that there were a total of 386,000 displaced people in Sri Lanka at the end of the conflict in May 2009 and that 158,000 have been resettled by March 2010, with an additional 24,000 currently residing with host families. Approx 83,000 others still remain in eight different camp-sites awaiting permission to return home. Explosive remnants of war include small and large size munitions, bullets, mortars, grenades and rockets. Many devices will also lie hidden in places where time and experience is needed to find them: open wells are one type of such deadly ç”°aches Wells were often used during the conflict as disposal places to dispose unwanted devices quickly, or to conceal them. In other instances combatants polluted the wells to make them unusable for the enemy or returning populations, posing a threat of poisoning or killing or injuring civilians through explosives accidents. Cleaning all the wells before putting them in use is therefore paramount to ensure the return of people displaced by conflict. Technically, cleaning wells from explosives is a delicate and dangerous job. The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) has cleared and cleaned already dozens of wells. But many more remain too dangerous to be used by the villagers. At average it takes two days for a specialized FSD team to carefully investigate and de-pollute a well which provides drinking water to some 50 families. The clearance-cost per well amounts to CHF 200 (USD 190). Approximately 350 wells need to be cleared and cleaned, providing water to around 90'000 civilians. The partner The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), is an international organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland. This private, independent, and non-profit organisation was created in 1997. Since then, it has implemented a large number of technical projects in more than 18 different countries. FSD's focus is on locating and eliminating landmines, unexploded ordnance, chemical, toxic and ordinary waste in post-war scenarios, in order to prevent accidents and thus creating favourable conditions for the reconstruction and development of war-torn countries. FSD is clearing mines in Sri Lanka since 2004.

Budget and sources of financing of this project

The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bern Private donors in Europe

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