Sri Lanka

Practical Action South Asia

Working together with communities, Practical Action South Asia aims to build the technical skills of poor people in the region enabling them to improve the quality of their lives and that of future generations.

Our South Asia office works mainly in the southern, eastern, western, and north western parts of Sri Lanka. We also are expanding our work Orissa state in India, and work with partners in Thal and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan.

In December 2004, a major tsunami took about 35,000 lives, left more than 500,000 displaced, and destroyed an estimated $1.5 billion worth of property. This added to the problems already faced by a nation battered by more than 20 years of civil war. Practical Action has had an important role in the long term reconstruction and has focused efforts on re-building the livelihoods of communities affected by the tsunami.

Villages in the north east of Sri Lanka have been badly affected by the civil war - whole communities have been displaced, severely affecting them economically. They have lived in areas that were until recently occupied by the Tamil Tigers, and have therefore received little or no development aid.

Our project work in Sri Lanka includes:

Rebuilding after conflict
The recent ethnic conflict hit communities in eastern Sri Lanka hard - but technological training can enable them to become self-sufficient again.

Adapting agriculture
Salt water in Sri Lanka's coastal rice fields is a problem getting worse as sea levels rise, but the introduction of saline-tolerant rice varieties can help improve yields.

Energy from biogas
Biogas plants can provide 75% of household cooking needs, run lights and heat up irons - with a by-product of enriched fertiliser for farmers' fields.

Energy from the wind
Small-scale wind power generators use one third of the amount of firewood as a traditional fire, and help to reduce household smoke levels.

Village roads
Women from 80 families in Mulberigama joined forces to build a better road, improving their access to schools, health care, building materials and other goods.

Water-powered computers
For a school facing an energy crisis a small 'pico' hydro scheme installed with help from Practical Action has come to the rescue.

Read more about our work in detail on the Practical Action South Asia website

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