Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka and its partners successfully concluded a European Union (EU) funded project in the North and East which empowered more than 2,370 returnee families to resettle and rebuild their lives.
The multi-year, multi-faceted undertaking empowered returnee families to resettle and rebuild their lives and future through shelter interventions and flanking measures that included livelihood and SME assistance.
The EUR 14 million “Homes not Houses Project” featured the use of appropriate construction technologies and materials in about 45% of the houses built, exceeding the minimum target.
Throughout the project—known as one of the best examples of Habitat’s climate-sensitive initiatives—families and masons had opportunities to learn about the benefits and utilize appropriate construction technologies and materials.
By the close of the project that began in January 2016, more than 1,000 homeowners chose to use eco-friendly materials such as compressed stabilized earth blocks that are an alternative to mining sand.
A feasibility study published by the European Union has cited the blocks as a low-carbon, low embodied energy solution that contributes to sustainable development.
Based on a homeowner-driven approach, families managed their available resources using grants from Habitat Sri Lanka and built homes at their own pace with Habitat’s technical assistance to ensure construction quality.
“The Homes not Houses project is an important component of the EU’s long-term support to people affected by the war, including the internally displaced, to return, to rebuild, to find home,” said Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Denis Chaibi.
“Over the last five years, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka is honored to work alongside families in need of safe, secure housing in the ‘Homes not Houses Project’. Displaced by the decades-long civil war, these families in Batticaloa, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts can finally start building stability and self-reliance through shelter.
Through the project’s flanking measures implemented by World Vision Lanka, about 46,000 people improved their self-sufficiency through skills training and livelihood support in husbandry, agriculture, home-based construction enterprises, and built resilience through disaster risk reduction mapping and drainage and culvert improvements