September 27th, 2011
Pharmaceuticals Firm Joins Other Habitat Donors In Building Transitional Shelters, Core Houses In Pollonnaruwa And Batticaloa
In flood-affected Pollonnaruwa, Habitat has built transitional shelters (top and middle) which offer better protection for families compared to their huts (bottom).
COLOMBO, 27th September 2011: Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has gained a new supporter in its flood response effort. Global pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline has donated 4.5 million rupees (nearly US$41,000) to HFH Sri Lanka to help 149 flood-affected families.
GSK’s funding will enable Habitat to build transitional shelters for affected families in Pollonnaruwa district in central Sri Lanka. The shelters are made of timber posts with corrugated tin sheets for roofs and base wall cladding. HFH Sri Lanka will distribute cadjan, or woven coconut leaves, to families as enclosure for the shelters.
The shelters offer better protection against the imminent monsoon rains, compared to the families’ former huts. The families can turn the shelters into permanent homes later when they have the financial means.
Hundreds of families affected by flooding in December and January have now been helped by HFH Sri Lanka.
In the initial phase  of its response, Habitat distributed more than 400 clean-up kits and over 1,300 emergency shelter kits in Pollonnaruwa and Batticaloa district in the east.
To date, Habitat has also built nearly 240 transitional shelters and 20 core houses in the same districts. Another 17 core houses were constructed for internally displaced persons in Mannar district, in the north.
In addition to GSK, Habitat donors include Japan Platform through HFH Japan, Jersey Overseas Aid Commission through HFH Great Britain, and London Stock Exchange. Japan Platform is a non-profit organization that pools government funds and private donations to provide emergency relief and reconstruction assistance for people who are affected by natural disasters and conflicts.
Sri Lankan retail store ODEL and the country’s largest apparel exporter, Brandix, provided both funding and volunteer support.
HFH Sri Lanka’s flood response is expected to be completed in October.