Post-Tsunami Reconstruction Now Underway

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SANASA, the national credit union association in Sri Lanka, has begun reconstruction of 28 primary societies (credit unions) and the regional credit union training center in the Galle district in the wake of the disastrous tsunami.

The first group of construction includes 11 destroyed primary societies, 10 of which have to be relocated 100 meters away from the coast per new local regulations, and 18 partially destroyed societies. A total of $161,000 was disbursed in the first quarter: $15,000 to support work camps for reconstruction training and $146,000 to rebuild credit unions in the Galle District, according to the World Council of Credit Unions.

WOCCU's Worldwide Credit Union Foundation and the National Credit Union Foundation has raised a combined $692,874 for the tsunami disaster relief.

"Reconstruction is underway, despite difficulties in the region due to lack of supplies and skilled labor," noted Normunds Mizis, project manager WOCCU-Uzbekistan, who is the WOCCU staff member overseeing the disaster relief efforts.

WOCCU said that standard building plans include 224.6 square feet per each primary society with provisions for expansion, based of the needs of the individual society. The cost of each structure is approximately $4,500. Rebuilding also includes the provision of furniture and other equipment. In response to the loss of managers and staff, the funds also help reinstate managers and provide initial training as necessary.

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