Super Team

Stories of Change


The Scent of a New Beginning
Scram !shoutedLeelawathie as she chased behind a stray dog that was running away with a piece of dry fish from the mat laid out in front of her house. "These pests are a menace!" she said to herself as she gave up the chase realizing the dog had alreadygot away.
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The three curses for the wailing  Rekawa Lagoon
Something weird is happening in Rekawa: fishes are dying, lagoon is shrinking, people are falling sick after eating some fishes caught from the area. Rekawa people, half of whom rely on lagoon fishing for livelihood, are worried. For, the lagoon is showing signs of distress and, most likely, mankind, once again deserves much of the blame.
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Unique fishing techniques of Panampattuwa women fisher community
Standing on the bank of Panama lagoon they first close their eyes and pray in silence and then wade deep into the lagoon-unfazed by the unknown dangers lurking in the waters. This is how many Panampattuwa women of Lahugala Divisional Secretary division, in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka, have been earning their livelihoods for ages.
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How a water distillation system solved water scarcity?
Mrs.Jayaratne resides in Andaragasyaya, Kirinda under Tissa Divisional Secretariat, Sri Lanka. A farmer by profession, he takes care of a family of seven with his manager income of 12,000 LKR/month. Like many other families residing in Kirinda, Jayaratne's family too finds drinking water a major concern and women of the house have to fetch water from an open dug well two kilometers away from their home.
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A unique coming together
Coastal Sri Lankan farmers constantly struggle to get satisfactory yield from their saline land. Read to know how tsunami turned the tables for a small farming community, which then joined hands with Practical Action’s South Asia Programme to overcome the problem.
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Connecting people
Animal drawn carts, human powered non-motorized transport modes such as trolleys, wheel-barrows, hand-carts are some of the means of transports that most residing in South Asian region often come across. However, what most of us may n ot realize is that these easy to operate, yet essential means of transport for the poor across the globe are termed in a category popularly known as IMT.
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The path that led to hope
Twenty kilometres from the Ampara town, and two kilometres away from the main road leading to it are the two villages of Lathugala and Mahawela. These villages are remote because they have inadequate transport facilities to link them to the world outside. The access ways are footpaths or muddy tracks across marshlands. The villagers make a living out of chena (highland cultivation) if water is available, or work as hired hands. They live with resigned acceptance of their hardships.
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Every drop of Water
"Not even a drop of water must flow into the ocean without being useful to man" declared the Great King Parakramabahu in the 12th century. The Run off Rain water harvesting tanks almost personify this vision of the king and play a vital role in arid districts of Sri Lanka, where long dry spells make farmers helpless and vulnerable.
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When the Right Boat Made the Difference
"As the first rays of sunlight lit the sky, Somasiri, a middle-aged trader of fish and prawns, standing near the small Panama lagoon landing site, glanced through his purchase with satisfaction. “I am happy that life is coming back to normal”, mumbled a fellow trader. Somasiri nodded in response, as he knew what his friend meant.
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As Jayathunkanda story: A small road that led to big opportunities
"The main road that was built inch by inch connecting our village to the main transport route, has been the light of our lives.  Today, this road is the pride of our village and the envy of those around us.  We built it ourselves!
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A case study on the impact of the Kapuhenwala causeway on the Rekawa lagoon and lagoon fishery
Sri Lankan coastline circles along about 1,585 km of sandy beaches, extensive lagoons, estuaries,
mangroves, coastal marshes and dunes (Baldwin, 1991). Given estuaries and lagoons, estuaries are
partially enclosed water bodies, having a free connection with the ocean in which sea water is
measurably diluted with fresh water from terrestrial runoff, whereas lagoons are also brackish coastal
water bodies, even so, they are either permanently separate from the sea or they connect with the
sea only during part of the year.
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Taking Control of the Situation

Urban impoverished settlements in Kurunegala, in Sri Lanka’s North Western province, often suffer from the plight of being in the most economically active location in the Kurunegala District without benefiting from the income generation and development taking place around them. So, for a change, the communities of the three urban settlements in   Kurunegala – Wilgodapura, Malkendha, and Ammankovil Mawatha – have taken steps to improve their living standards. And, helping them in this process is Practical Action, along with it’s partner organization (DEIHERM) and other service providers. What makes this support significant is that this change revolves around, of, for and by the community themselves.
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Developing a rapid needs assessment tool for community participation in resettlement housing
Rapid assessment tools, though available, may not always be convenient or contextually realistic. The need for a handy and practical Needs-Assessment Tool arose when the 2005 tsunami ravaged Sri Lanka's coastal belt required the providing of permanent houses for persons who had lost their homes. Time was a significant factor to contend with in view of the urgency to resettle displaced communities.
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Doing Something Different
In southern Sri Lanka, a 39 year old mother of 4 school-going children opted to do something different – qualify as a mason. Asoka Nandani had been a busy housewife, who was not secularly employed, caring for her children and husband since the time of her marriage.
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Seeds of Change 

Malanie rises up early in the morning, finishes her household chores, and proceeds towards her little but blooming kitchen garden. Humming to herself, she takes a deep breathe, and the fresh air rejuvenates her spirits. Gone are the days when the environs were always reeking of nauseating stench, and the drains around her house overflowed with clogged household litter.
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International experiences on community governance
The increase in population and depletion of natural resource, globalization and increased communication and consumerism has changed people’s expectations of the governments’ role.  Decentralization and increased participation is on the increase with the traditional institutions built around ethnicity, powers, occupations and the role of government as provider is being gradually replaced by private sector, government regulators and the informal sector. This document published by Practical Action, under the Community Governance in Urban Administration project, funded by the Sri Lanka Small Project Facility of European Commission, is a collection of case studies on various aspects of governance related to infrastructure and services.
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Janathakshan Project

Practical Action Regional Office (Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan),

No 05, Lionel Edirisinghe Mawatha,

Colombo-5, Sri Lanka.


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