Practical Action Sri Lanka's work in transport now falls under our Access to Services programme. These pages are retained for archive information only.
Conventional transport services and systems in Sri Lanka have a strong urban bias and do not adequately address rural transport needs. Increasing the number of buses and tarred roads, which is the usual practice of the state, does not solve a wide range of transport needs in the rural areas that are closely linked with carrying loads and that take place within a short distance from homes. Such transport needs require a different approach.
The cycle based transport and the Power Hammer were the first experiments of the Rural Transport Programme of ITDGPractical Action or the Rural Workshops Programme as it was called at that time. The cycle based transport project helped the communities in transporting children, produce to the market, and household purchases.
The cycle based transport project was handed over to partner organisations in 1997. Gamana, an information sharing collective on alternative development initiatives was also formed and a quarterly newsletter on transport issues and options is also published.
A rural transport needs assessment study was carried out in collaboration with state organisations. Results were shared with the communities and this allowed some links between the communities and transport authorities.
The Lanka Forum on Rural Transport Development was formed in 1995 to highlight the need for alternative options for rural transport needs.
In 1996, the Village Road Development Project started work in three pilot sites - Weeraketiya, Akuressa and Katepola. Click here to the annual review for a story from this project.
The project aims to help rural communities learn the technologies of rural road construction and link up with their local authorities to build and maintain roads of their village. The project has constructed two roads and one bridge and is working in three new sites.
The Community Transport Project aims to help rural communities understand the reasons for their transport problems and carry out work to minimise these.
Over 3000 cyclists took the Kurunegala town by storm on Sunday, February 26, 2006. Starting from 3 different routes, all dressed in white T-shirts and caps they converged on the Sathyawadi Grounds. This was Cyclone 2006 - a bicycle rally focusing on obtaining safer roads and better infrastructure for cyclists in city roads.