The International Non Government Organisation ‘Practical Action’ in collaboration with PALM is implementing the “Community Governance in Infrastructure Services” in selected local authority areas of Navithanveli and Thirukkovil Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the Ampara District.
The project period is five years – 1st May 2009 to 31st March 2014 co- financed by the European Union (EU). Due to the lack of involvement in development mainstream and participation in decision making processes regarding infrastructure services including planning, implementation, operation and maintenance, and delivery of these services, the communities in the region are poverty stricken and marginalized. Lack of systematic transport, water and sanitation, energy and irrigation contributes to aggravating conflicts within communities, thereby resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty and poor access to infrastructure services.
PALM was assigned to undertake its activities in the war affected and tsunami affected communities in 42 GN divisions within the Navithanveli DS and Thirukkovil DS divisions of the Ampara district with the objective of implementing the project in order to develop capacities of the community to effectively operational the community governance mechanism. The initiative also included building strong and effective relationships with the concerned departments/authorities and NSAs involved in the infrastructure creation activities in the PS, DS Divisions. This successful approach led to create a platform to establish strong network with the Irrigation Department, DS Office, Pradeshiya Sabhas, Government Agent, Provincial Council authorities in the Eastern Province and Local Administration systems.
The PALM has completed 12 model priority projects in both divisions such as, Road rehabilitation, reservoirs and Irrigation channel rehabilitation within the 4 years of period. While the projects implementation the PALM team has gotten more experience, challenges, lesson leant regarding the community governance concept.
The successful implementation and acceptability of the work delivery created a credible atmosphere among the communities and their cooperation with the project. The continuous capacity building trainings as well as involving community in every activity, built confidence among the farmers and local population towards the project as well as practicing the project process.
The program supporting the community through providing basic infrastructure and improving their knowledge on the same and linking them with the concerned departments/experts, and this approach has widely been appreciated. The especial appreciation goes to District coordinator and executive’s director of palm of the project and his team for their high level of commitment to achieve project goals and objectives within the time frame