“Peace building through Tsunami reconstruction”
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AWAW responded to the tsunami disaster in two general ways; one through lobbying and advocacy to have women’s voices heard in the entire rebuilding process, , the other through reconstruction of lives and livelihoods..
“Weaving 1325 in to tsunami relief”
AWAW wrote to the authorities on the importance of having women’s voices heard in relief efforts as well to have women at all levels of decision making within the process of rebuilding.
AWAW also played a major role in calling for the implementation of UN resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Tsunami relief work.
Rebuilding the fishing village of Kokkilai.
Even though Kokkilai was heavily damaged in the recent disaster , it was not initially able to receive significant amounts of disaster relief due to its complex political location.
We decided to select this particular village as it is situated in the Mulatiew District which is control by LTTE but as it is situated in the government side of the line of control it is maintained by the government.
AWAW engaged in a series of meeting and negotiations with all of the stakeholders, and the specific priorities were developed as a result of discussions with members of the village community. Though this the provision of an adequate and convenient water supply and a community center were identified as priorities. The women were seeking a space that could house a health clinic, as well as be used for craft programs and general meetings.
AWAW was fortunate enough to receive generous donations from private individuals so that we had the initial funds to begin construction of the community center.
Therefore, AWAW negotiated with the military and the village governing body to identify a villager to make the cement blocks for the community center. After completion of the center, the machine was given to the villager as the basis of his own business.
Subsequently, AWAW received major funding for this project from the Urgent Action Fund, Global fund for women, Tides Foundation, Giant Steps foundation and the American Jewish World Service Asian Tsunami Emergency Relief Fund, enabling AWAW to complete both the community center and the water supply project.
On February 1, AWAW purchased a manual cement block maker (since there is still no general electric service in Kokkilai), transported it Kokkilai, and presented it to the villager who will be making the cement blocks AWAW also presented first aid boxes for use by the villagers.
On February 9, the military authorities arranged for the survey for the water project to be conducted the same day. Upon completion of their report, AWAW can begin planning for its construction.
AWAW visited Kokkilai on March 23 to view the progress being made on the community center project. Substantial work has already been completed. The individual who was hired to build the cement blocks has completed his task. With the block machine presented by AWAW, he has now created his own business and has a contract to supply cement blocks for the school construction.
The Community center was declared opened on the 7th of July by the Area commander of the Wanni region with its fully equipped medical clinic and craft center. The center was equipped with 100 chairs so that the villagers can use it when they have any social events
AWAW built two concrete water tanks, one an overhead tank which has the capacity of 10000 gallons the size is 10’x 10’x 8’, standing 25 feet above ground level and a storage tank which has a capacity of 15000 gallons and the size is 15’x 12’x10’ which stands 5 feet above the ground. The overhead tank was built near the wells and the storage tank was built close to the village. The water gets pumped from the nearby wells to the overhead tank and then bring it with the help of gravity to the storage tank and subsequently distribute water from that point is taken towards the village
“Lending a hand – Making life better for tsunami affected women”
AWAW together with “Great Tsunami women’s organization” an organization AWAW assisted to establish immediately after the tsunami, carried out a survey to ascertain the needs and necessities of women who are affected by the Tsunami. These women were mostly head of households and breadwinners. They were engaged in small-scale business such as sewing, grinding spice, drying fish and packaging and selling them, manufacturing coir products, Joss sticks, and grocery shops. Tsunami swept away all what they had and they badly needed support.
Along with Great Tsunami women’s organization AWAW provided them with equipment such as sewing machines, spice grinding machines, financial support where necessary to buy the fish to dry and other raw materials so that they could start their own business again. One recipient received a maximum of US 200.00 worth of equipotent, raw materials etc.