Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

John Keells funds six-way an­i­cut in Mul­laitivu to ir­ri­gate 300 acres of paddy land

- Hunger · Social Issues · Society · World Vision · John Keells Holdings · International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement · Mullaitivu · Sri Lanka

A six-way an­i­cut with a ca­pac­ity to ir­ri­gate ap­prox­i­mately 300 acres of paddy land in drought-rid­den Naval­adi­veli, Iranaipala­i of the Mul­laitivu District was de­clared open by John Keells Foun­da­tion (JKF) - the CSR en­tity of the John Keells Group re­cently.

The an­i­cut, which was con­structed and vested with the pub­lic as the fi­nal ini­tia­tive un­der JKF’S Vil­lage Adop­tion Project, is de­signed to op­ti­mize wa­ter re­sources for ir­ri­ga­tion en­sur­ing year­long sup­ply of wa­ter to cul­ti­vate crops dur­ing both the Yala and Maha sea­sons and is ex­pected to ben­e­fit over 100 farm­ing fam­i­lies in Iranaipala­i and ad­join­ing ar­eas.

“This ini­tia­tive brings us great joy as this puts an end to our 50-year tur­moil,” says John Amaranayak­am, Sec­re­tary of the Farmer Or­ga­ni­za­tion in Iranaipala­i.

“We used to stack up close to 200 sand bags spend­ing Rs. 75,000, at least three times a year, to pre­vent the wa­ter from go­ing back to the sea. This an­i­cut will en­able each farmer to earn a profit of at least Rs. 250,000 a year.”

John Keells Foun­da­tion ini­ti­ated its Vil­lage Adop­tion Project in Iranaipala­i in Puthukkudi­yiruppu DS and Puthu­math­a­lan in Mar­itimepattu DS in 2013 in col­lab­o­ra­tion with World Vi­sion sub­stan­tially in­vest­ing in de­vel­op­ing es­sen­tial in­fras­truc­ture, sus­tain­able liveli­hoods and ac­cess to education and other op­por­tu­ni­ties for the com­mu­ni­ties in the two vil­lages iden­ti­fied as ar­eas most af­fected by the long drawn civil con­flict and the last to be re­set­tled fol­low­ing the end of the con­flict.

Ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing at the vest­ing cer­e­mony, Carme­line Jaya­suriya, Head of Oper­a­tions, CSR at John Keells Hold­ings PLC said, “When we first vis­ited Iranaipala­i and Puthu­math­a­lan with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of World Vi­sion in Fe­bru­ary 2013, what we wit­nessed was tem­po­rary hous­ing, di­lap­i­dated boats and nets, paddy land de­prived of ir­ri­ga­tion, schools with­out ad­e­quate wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, class­room space and fa­cil­i­ties, and many fe­male-headed house­holds af­fected by in­come chal­lenges and so­cial vi­o­lence.

“Yet, in all the di­verse com­mu­nity groups we met, we also sensed the pos­i­tive hu­man spirit and t he de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed.

“When we in­quired whether the com­mu­nity would need sup­port with hous­ing or liveli­hoods, they were quick to choose liveli­hoods con­sid­er­ing the long-term ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity would reap as a whole. We are happy to see the tremen­dous and far-reach­ing im­pact of our liveli­hood and ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives in these ar­eas. It is truly in­spir­ing.”

“We be­lieve when you equip a

com­mu­nity you are pro­vid­ing them with the nec­es­sary tools to help their chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence full­ness of life. This project which was ini­ti­ated and funded by John Keells Foun­da­tion and im­ple­mented by World Vi­sion, en­sures liveli­hood sup­port and most im­por­tantly food se­cu­rity for the whole com­mu­nity. We are glad that we were able to pave the way for im­pact that lasts for gen­er­a­tions,” said Dr. Dhanan Se­nathi­ra­jah, Na­tional Di­rec­tor of World Vi­sion Lanka.

Over its 7-year span, the John Keells Foun­da­tion’s Vil­lage Adop­tion Project in Mul­laitivu has di­rectly sup­ported 100 fish­er­men with the pro­vi­sion of boats, en­gines, nets, safety equip­ment and ca­pac­ity de­vel­op­ment and 20 fam­i­lies of women-headed house­holds with the pro­vi­sion of dairy cows, with both groups shar­ing project div­i­dend with other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, thereby cre­at­ing a notable rip­ple ef­fect in de­vel­op­ment. In ad­di­tion to the newly con­structed an­i­cut, farmer com­mu­ni­ties of the area have been sup­ported by the con­struc­tion of a 1.2 km Agro road in Iranaipala­i ben­e­fit­ting over 200 farm­ers.

The Fam­ily Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gramme con­ducted in part­ner­ship with Sri Lanka Red Cross sup­ported eco­nomic and so­cial in­te­gra­tion of 30 se­lected fam­i­lies af­fected by the con­flict.

The vest­ing of the six-way an­i­cut in Irana­palai, Mul­laitivu was graced by K. Vi­malanathan, District Sec­re­tary of Mul­laitivu, Pu­nithaku­mar, As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor of the Agrar­ian De­part­ment, S. Jeyakanth, Di­vi­sional Sec­re­tary Puthukudiy­iruppu and M. Uma­makal, the Di­vi­sional Sec­re­tary Mar­itimepa­tru. The John Keells Group was rep­re­sented by Suresh Rajendra, Pres­i­dent-prop­erty Group, Nadi­jatam­biah, Head of Le­gal, Sec­re­tar­ial & CSR, Carme­line Jaya­suriya, Head of Oper­a­tions – CSR and K. Kok­i­lan, Head of SalesClus­ter 4, Union As­sur­ance. Dr. Dhananse­n­athi­ra­jah, Na­tional Di­rec­tor and Clarence Sutha­rasan, Di­rec­tor of Mar­ket­ing and En­gage­ment rep­re­sented World Vi­sion Lanka.

 ??  ?? Do­na­tion of boats, nets and safety gear to the fish­er­man in Irana­palai and Puthu­math­a­lan-min
Do­na­tion of boats, nets and safety gear to the fish­er­man in Irana­palai and Puthu­math­a­lan-min

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