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Published: December 17th 2005
I'm settling into the work here and finding it very enjoyable and challenging. It's a very dynamic work environment, which is the nature of the work. The team here has grown from nothing to over 400 Tsunami staff nationwide over the last 12 months, and new staff seem to start almost daily. I'm managing the infrastructure reconstruction projects in the South, which includes everything from shops/marketplaces, schools, hospitals, homes, water supply and wastewater systems. The Southern Region extends from Kalutara (2 hours drive west of Galle), to about 3-4 hours drive, and head office in Colombo is about 3-4 hours away, so I spend a lot of time traveling.
We are basically rebuilding whole towns in some places where they have been wiped out.
Building infrastructure takes time, with planning, consultation, design, obtaining permits, engaging construction contractors and managing national construction material shortages. However there is a big push to see permanent houses built and families shifting out of their tents and temporary shelters before the anniversary of the Tsunami on Boxing Day. We will have a percentage of the infrastructure completed by 26 December, but with our infrastructure budget for the coming year being around $50 million and the
average cost of a two bedroom house being $8,000 there is still plenty to do in 2006.
The cricket stadium is being reconstructed here in Galle, but unfortunately the powers that be in the cricket world have decided that it will be demoted from an international venue to just a provincial cricket venue. So the likelihood of high investment into the cricket ground is now reduced.
The local cuisine is not the best in the world, but I'm getting used to it. And I'm picking up a little of the language, but most people here that I am dealing with have a good grasp of English, so all our documentation and correspondence is conducted in English, which makes things simpler for me.
I’ve included some pictures of the local work scene and some shots from my birthday party.
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