High level European Union team visits Eastern Province

Parliament, together with United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)  Director and Representative Francoise Jacob, Eastern Province Chief Minister Z. A. Nazeer Ahamed and Government Agent P. S. M. Charles this week officially inaugurated the newly built Cluster Engineered Landfill in Chenkalady.

The event also witnessed the handing over of the facility to the Provincial Council and Local Authorities.

The landfill, built at a cost of over Rs. 275 million, is an important component of the integrated solid waste management system being implemented in the Batticaloa district. Technical and operational support for this initiative was provided by UNOPS with funding from the EU.

The facility also includes a composting plant within the premises for processing biodegradable waste. The landfill and larger waste management system is set to benefit more than 400,000 people in the district.

Further, Ambassador Margue together with the UNICEF Deputy Representative Dr. Paula Bulancea, Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement M. A. M. Hizbullah and Government Agent Charles inaugurated a newly constructed Health Centre at Kattankudy.

The center will provide vital healthcare including maternal and child nutrition services to nearly 54,000 people in the Kattankudy area and neighbouring communities. The initiative, which was also funded by the EU has been implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and will help to meet the most essential health needs of the community.

In addition, the high-level EU delegates together with Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Nina Brandstrup and officials from the Department of Animal Production and Health, visited dairy farmers in the Batticaloa district today. The aim of the visit is to assess the impacts of improved dairy management practices and breeding techniques introduced for small scale dairy farmers by FAO under EU support to the District Development Program.

The project is providing support to a total of 480 dairy farmers in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka including 40 farmers in the Batticaloa district. The objective is to boost milk production in the provinces by increasing the milk yield to more than 5 liters per cow per day. This is being done by assisting farmers to construct cattle sheds and establish fodder units, and through training on business planning and capacity building, thereby ensuring sustainable livelihoods for small scale dairy farmers.

Jointly implemented by five agencies of the United Nations, namely UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, FAO and ILO, and IFC, EU-SDDP is an EU funded development cooperation program with a total financial envelope of EUR 60 million. Its objective is to contribute to poverty reduction and livelihood development in seven districts in the North and East to bridge the socio-economic gap with the rest of the country.

The program supports the conflict affected districts of Batticaloa, Mannar, Vavuniya, Ampara, Monaragala, Anuradhapura and Puttalam impacting half a million people. – See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/578372/High-level-European-Union-team-visits-Eastern-Province#sthash.ks7fZOqF.dpuf