Resettlement of farmers in North

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Sivanesan (holding the carrots) and his family are finally resettled in their own land.

Sellappa Sivanesan aged 47, a father of two from Tellipalai, Jaffna was forced to leave his home in 1990 due to the conflict. At the time he was just 19 and still in school. They were displaced several times in the next years.

The civil war lasted for three decades and incapacitated his education and employments opportunities. In order to find a livelihood he decided to support his father on farming activities and gained experience in agriculture.

 

On January 14, 2016; Sivanesan and his family were allowed to return to their own land after 25 years. Though land access was given, they could see nothing but heavy vegetation with wild trees and bushes in their once cultivated land, and there was only remains of his beautiful house. Tellipalai DS office provided initial support on land clearance and included Sivanesan into a owner-driven housing scheme worth LKR 850,000. Sivanesan was lucky, several of the neighboring farmers are still waiting for their housing lands to be released. 

 

With his earned farming skills, Sivanesan worked hard on his own agriculture land. On one hand, he was happy to be back, however, Sivanesan found it difficult to continue to prepare his land. But then the Norwegian government funded “Livelihood Support for Resettled Communities in Jaffna District” was launched by UNDP. Through this project, Sivanesan received a water pump, necessary agriculture equipment and support for renovating an agro-well which provides water requirements for farming.

 

 

With the agriculture assistance from the project, during last season Sivanesan was able to cultivate a variety of vegetables including Long Beans and Green Chilies and made profit. Nevertheless, nature had its own course on Sivanesan and his fellow farmers last year. Severe rain and heavy flooding decimated his onion cultivation. As a result, he lost close to LKR 100,000. But he didn’t give up, and this season, Sivanesan has cultivated carrot and securing good profit.

 

Sivanesan feels dignified about his present living conditions as he able to support his children’s education while living on his own land. He had a long dream of returning to his own land with his children. Now he has succeeded after tirelessly toiling in his farmland over a year and has become an inspiration for the resettled community.

 

Facts about the project:

  • Total support from the Norwegian Government to the resettled communities in Jaffna an Trincomalee amounts to NOK 17.687 million
  • Total beneficiaries: 2300 families amounting to nearly 8,000 individuals.
  • The support aims to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for targeted communities in agriculture, fisheries, livestock and alternative income-generation activities to revitalize economic opportunities at the community level by providing access to productive inputs, skills trainings, tools, equipment, seeds and vital infrastructure, and increasing local employment.