Ammanthanaveli Navatkulam, is an underprivileged village located within the Koralaiparru (Vakarai) Divisional Secretariat division of Batticaloa district. In this village, there is small settlement on the north shores of the Ammanthanaveli river that houses 96 individuals from 46 families. These people live there for the past 22 years, under challenging circumstances but the lack of toilet facilities is the worst of all. They earn a living through seasonal crops agriculture, fishing from the river and collecting honey from the jungle.

The villagers face several issues caused by various factors. Human-elephant conflict is a serious threat to the villagers’ cultivation as well as their poorly built houses/huts. Lack of proper roads makes them not being able to access to the nearby markets to sell their crops and fishes. Most of the villages take them all to the main road using their bicycles or by walking to a long distance. There are no hospitals or schools closer to the village.

Apart from all these infra-structure related issues, they have had a main problem of accessing to clean water for the drinking and bathing purposes within the village, but this has been addressed by ACT foundation recently. A newly renovated water well was inaugurated on 15th May 2023 and now they have the water.

The next urgent need identified was the toilet facilities for their hygiene and sanitation needs. Toilets facilities would give them the opportunity to live a life with dignity as well. There were no toilets located in the settlement and people including the elderly, women and children go into the nearby bushes to attend their nature’s call. Elderly people, pregnant ladies, children and patients did suffer a lot without access to toilets within their village. They do not have sufficient income or savings to have toilets built within their own lands. There is no state scheme to provide sanitation and hygiene to such remote villages in Sri Lanka.

In response to this need, ACT foundation proposed and constructed a toilet block with a total of two toilets for their daily usage. The toilet block and the septic tank were built approximately 50 meters away from the water well to ensure that water is accessible for the toilet but the septic tank is not too close to pollute the water.

These toilets were handed over to the local people on the Sri Lankan new years’ day. Some sweets were also distributed among the participants to mark the new year. ACT Foundation is ever grateful to our volunteers on the ground and the sponsors who provided the funds via ACT Foundation UK.

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