The coverage of HSZ has been reduced and people from Navaretnapuram (139 Families) & Koonitheevu (170 Families) are allowed resettle in original villages.
Koonitheevu (170F) families have been allowed to go and clear their lands, but they have received no support to resettle. ZOA has identified up to 130 families in urgent need of shelter and latrine support (as well as livelihoods). Apparently they will receive some tin sheeting and 4 bags of cement from the government and OFFER a local NGO – but have not received to-date. The area has difficult access to basic services - the nearest hospital is reportedly 9 km away.
Navaretnapuram (139F) provided basic assistance to resettle (temporary shelter assistance and some livelihood support from EHED) but they still need lot of basic facilities. The Government has reportedly conducted a latrine assessment and submitted the assessment to the Ministry of Resettlement.
Families from 4 GN divisions = Sampoor West (448F), Sampoor East (355F), Kadatkaraichchenai (113F), Sambookalli (?) are still not able to resettle in their original places. The Government is proposing relocations in Koonitheevu and Navaretnapuram for 483 Families from these remaining 916 (283F + 168F + 32F respectively). Other locations have been suggested by GoSL for the remainder. On a more positive note, there have also been reports that plans are being made to return a further 400 to 500 families to parts of Sampoor East and West, Sambookalli, and Kooneetheevu North, but this is not yet confirmed.There are still 3 IDP camps functioning in Muthur division; Kiliveddi, Manachchenai and Paddiyadithidal camp.
- The local authorities have requested assistance for these returning families.
- It is still of concern that close to 1000 families are still living in displacement and are not be able to return to their places of origin. Hopefully, if we are able to show support for the returns of families to Koonitheevu and Navaretnapuram we can also encourage the Government to open up more areas for returns.
- In terms of relocations, we still need to be careful that these relocations are voluntary and that families are fully informed of their right to return should their land open up in the future and/or the procedures for acquiring their land and compensating them for the loss. If this land is to be acquired for development purposes we would strongly recommend that the Sri Lankan National Involuntary Resettlement Policy (NIRP – see attached) is applied in this instance. It is recommended that assistance is provided to support the Government to follow the NIRP which includes the development of a comprehensive resettlement plan with participation from the affected populations prior to relocation as well as a compensation package.