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President instructs officials: Expedite housing programme for disaster victims

President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to officials to expedite the programme to build new houses for those people affected by the recent floods and landslides.

Furthermore, the President said that five billion rupees from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, which is under the purview of President Sirisena will be allocated to this programme.

Cabinet approval was received to pay a monthly rental of Rs.7,500 for three months for the families whose houses were fully destroyed, to live elsewhere until their houses were rebuilt.

The President gave these instructions participating in a the Post Disaster Management progress review meeting at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

The District Secretaries of the affected areas including Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Gampaha and Colombo participated in this meeting and expressed their views in detail regarding the relief measures carried out in the respective districts.

Presently, the Government is in the process of getting valuation reports on damaged properties and institutions and identifying suitable lands to resettle the people. The President instructed the officials to expedite these tasks. He also told officials that if there is any shortage of Valuation Officers, to bring this to the notice of the relevant authorities and there is a possibility of getting them through the line ministries and the Ministry of Local Government.

President Sirisena inquired about the programmes carried out to renovate the schools and to restore the education of the children, and instructed the officials to give priority to reconstruct schools, hospitals and houses in the process of the infrastructure development.

The President also emphasised that the distribution of foreign aid received to assist the victims should be done in a comprehensive and transparent manner.

The President also said that people should be aware that how these donations were distributed among them and pointed out the importance of the Ministry of Disaster Management maintaining a report in this regard.

During this meeting, it was discussed in detail regarding providing compensation for the cultivated lands and small-scale enterprises, restoration of infrastructure facilities including electricity, drinking water, roads, waste management, protecting the health of the public and preparing a plan at regional levels for the Disaster Management.

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