The plantation sector, with a population of one million people, is characterised as the least developed and poorest in the country. According to Government sources, the main issues faced in plantation settlements are access to clean water, sanitation, access roads, bridges and culverts, drainage, electricity, skill trainings and housing.
The Nuwara Eliya district, located in the central province of Sri Lanka consists of around 100 plantation settlements. In addition to social fragility of the communities, the central hills of Sri Lanka are listed as an environmentally fragile area in the National Physical Plan of Sri Lanka. Much of the landslide prone areas are also located in the plantation zones including surrounding villages. Recent landslides have also focused attention on land tenure issues faced by plantation communities and the Government is committed towards improving their living conditions as envisaged in the National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development (NPA).
The plantation sector, with a population of one million people, is characterised as the least developed and poorest in This project aimed to contribute towards human development in Nuwara Eliya district through empowering communities and increase employability of youth; to improve resilience and access to infrastructure facilities in plantation settlements; and to facilitate mainstreaming of the plantation settlements into the administrative procedures of Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL). These objectives were achieved through adoption of an integrated approach to settlement development.
The project implementation was done through community participatory process. Local communities were at the centre of the planning and implementation of all project outputs. The community participatory process is based on the concept that mobilised and empowered communities are the best guarantee for sustainable improvement in living conditions, to reduce vulnerability and improve long term resilience.
Consultations with selected communities and other key Government stakeholders were held to develop settlement plans and to carry out community infrastructure interventions in each plantation and rural community targeted by this project. Existing Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCSs) were strengthened and to the extent possible, implementation was undertaken by them, with the support of the respective Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) and UN-Habitat.
UN-Habitat implemented this project in close collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, in particular the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, presently known as State Ministry of Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure. The project followed scientific settlement planning principles and ensured a holistic approach towards achieving the 2019 targets of the National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development (NPA). The project provided lessons for subsequent projects with a special focus on water, sanitation and waste management and skills development. It also contributed to KOICA’s strategy to support fragile states and strengthen resilience towards sustainable development and strengthen economic foundation for socially vulnerable groups.
- Improved capacities of men, women, youth, elders and persons with disabilities to participate in development of their communities.
- Improved employability of plantation youth through formal construction related vocational training.
- Settlement improvement plans incorporating disaster risk reduction and community infrastructure in keeping with local land use plans.
- Implement community infrastructure projects.
- Local stakeholders understand the need to incorporate these settlements into the mainstream development process.
- Wider dissemination at national and regional level.
Donors and Key Project Stakeholders
Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
Key Project Stakeholders:
Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development; Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT); Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS); Community Based (CBO), Regional Plantation Companies; The Central Provincial Council; District and Divisional Secretariats and Local Authorities in Nuwara Eliya District, National Building Research Organisation (NBRO), KOICA Volunteers
UN-Habitat Sri Lanka: