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Water for LifeMrs. Selvi

Travelling between Muthanagar and Muthar we pass a small village close to the main road by the name of Upparu. Muslim Aid has been instrumental here providing solutions to improve residents quality of life through the installation of deep water wells for drinking water.

Previously residents of Upparu had to travel up to 1km away to find drinking water and we meet Selvi 43 and her father Surgam 74. Surgam has been in Upparu since the 1940’s and left in 1990 like so many others to take refuge from the intense shelling. They fled to nearby villages to avoid the shelling but continuously had to stay on the run as they were soon being attacked there. Selvi recalls her brothers leg and her sisters face being badly injured as they were all in a bunker shelter when a shell fell onto the roof. It took them 1 week to find a safe zone before they were eventually moved to an IDP Camp in 1990 where Selvi’s siblings received the medical attention they required.

The family returned in 2006 to find their home flattened to the ground. Surgam has been asking the Sri Lankan Government for assistance for 12 years without any success. They have assured him that there will be a gradual roll out of homes to help those affected by the conflict but nothing has materialised. So they continue to live in the hut made from dried palm tree leaves they call ‘Cajum’.

When I ask how Muslim Aid has helped and asked if they had a message to the donors especially of the well constructed for only £670, they replied “Thanks to the donors they have made the difficult much easier” They still have no latrine facilities on site and it would be great to have further help to make that possible.