To improve planning and community resilience:
Aussie Govt funds Rs. 130m for disaster-prone cities
The Government of Australia will provide AUD 1,000,000 (LKR 130
million) to improve planning and community resilience in four disaster
prone cities, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Akkaraipattu.
The latest funding is in addition to earlier Australian funding of
AUD 1,000,000 in 2012 for disaster preparedness in the cities of
Balangoda, Batticaloa, Kalmunai and Ratnapura.
The program will result in the development of "Disaster Resilient
City Development Strategies" in each location.
Commencing in April 2013, this twelve month project will be
implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)
in collaboration with project partners - the University of Moratuwa
(UoM), Urban Development Authority (UDA), Ministry of Disaster
Management (MDM) and the Municipalities / Local Authorities and
communities of the four cities.
With the end of three decades of conflict in Sri Lanka, many areas
are now undergoing rapid economic development, particularly in terms of
new infrastructure and housing.
The selected cities are highly vulnerable to natural disasters such
as cyclones, floods, lightning strikes and strong winds. By improving
disaster risk reduction planning at the local city level, it will be
possible to reduce the costs of natural hazards andbetter manage urban
growth into the future.Over the next 12 months UN-Habitat and project
partners will support Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Akkaraipattu to
assess vulnerability, prepare Disaster Preparedness Plans and develop
Building Guidelines for each city.
The UDA and Disaster Management Center will be closely involved in
each location. The projectwill empower local communities and local
At the conclusion of the project, trained community based Disaster
Response Teams will work closely with local authorities to implement the
Disaster Preparedness Plans.Australia's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka,
Robyn Mudie, said "We are pleased to extend our partnership with
UN-Habitat and expand assistance to another four city based communities
living in disaster prone areas of Sri Lanka. Natural disasters can take
a heavy toll on human life and livelihoods as well as the broader
Effective planning has the potential to reduce these social and
economic costs. We hope this project will allow the targeted cities to
grow and prosper, and also demonstrate to other cities and towns in Sri
Lanka the benefits of effective planning and disaster
preparedness."Commenting on the project, Laxman Perera, UN-Habitat
Program Manager for Sri Lanka stated "We highly appreciate the
commitment of the Government of Australia in continuing their support
for disaster risk reduction in cities. This initiative will replicate
the good practices of the previous disaster risk reduction project,
promote disaster resilient urban planning and significantly improve the
quality of life of the communities by minimizing their exposure to