Club supplies water for village in Sri Lanka.

David Pearson at the completed Waterwell project in Sri Lanka

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Clean Water for village in Sri Lanka

Rotarian David Pearson, a Member of Sherborne Castles Rotary Club, visited Sri Lanka in 2007 accompanied by his wife Marjorie.

On their arrival in Colombo the members of  the Rotary Club of Colombo South gave them a very warm welcome and had planned to take them to the village of Vilankulam  an under developed and under privileged  village in the Trincomalee district in the eastern province of the country. The villagers had suffered the devastation of conflicts involving the Tamil Tigers and the continued effects of the December 2004 tsunami. They faced major difficulties on a daily basis. Many families have been displaced from their original homes and are existing in an area with no clean water, sanitary, education and health facilities.

David & Marjorie met the village leaders and the over riding issue was clean water and an air of despondency appeared in many of the villagers they met.

The village is situated 14 km from Trincomalee: There are 85 families consisting of 336 persons in the village of which 92 are children under 16 years of age.

Following discussion between Rotarian David and the local Rotary Clubs it was agreed that the provision of six community wells, at a cost of 12,500 US dollars, would go a long way to alleviate the problems experienced by the village: the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles set about raising money locally and at the same time applied to Rotary International for a matching Grant.

The matching grant approval from Rotary International was received on 2nd December 2007. and the six wells were completed in September 2009.

The Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles in RI District 1200 undertook to monitor the progress of the project in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Colombo South and Trincomalee in RI District 3220 who provided technical assistance and mobilisation of the project.

David and Marjorie returned to Sri Lanka on the 9th November 2009 and again the hospitality shown by the Rotary Club of Colombo South was second to none.

At 5.30am they left for Trincomalee and arriving at the village of Vilankulam there was a warm traditional welcoming celebration with many speeches.

The villagers were full of gratitude to Rotary for the construction of the wells to supply them with clean water. Many of the villagers had started to keep chickens and  goats, two villagers had small taxis businesses. There was a small shop and many gardens were growing vegetables.  The children were clean and happy and appeared to be fit and well.

One well was fitted with a submersible solar driven water pump and pumped water to a header tank and then by feeder pipes to the homes. There are plans for the 5 remaining wells to have this facility.

The 6 wells have been constructed to an excellent standard being brick lined and rendered with a good coat of extremely hard sand and cement mix The wells are approximately 10 feet in diameter and 30 feet deep and David reports that the water he tasted seemed excellent.

The wells were constructed by a member of the Trincomalee Rotary Club and David congratulated him on his workmanship.

During the visit it became very evident that the Rotary Clubs of Colombo and Trincomalee had worked hard together to achieve their objectives  They had used their many skills to ensure that the project was completed and were extremely pleased with the final result.

It was wonderful to realize that the combined efforts of the Rotary Clubs and Districts of those involved has enabled the men, women and children of Vilakulam to have clean drinking water. The improvement in health and self esteem of the families in the village has enabled them to move forward and develop their own self sustainable projects for the future.