Thursday, January 20, 2005

Kirinda, Hambantota District

The people who lived close to the shore in Kirinde had been severely affected. Their houses were all broken up - the area that we passed through seemed largely a muslim fishing community - their was a school there. In the distance was the Kirinde temple on the hill top. I had visited here in 1996 and I was so taken with its setting that I had promised to myself to come back. The circumstances of my return was heartbreaking. The approach to the Kirinde coast is filled with broken boats - literally into pieces. There is a stench that is noticeable as you get close. We saw a van belonging to the University of Ruhuna collecting water samples.

As elsewhere, the fishing industry suffered the worst. The Kirinde fisheries harbour was in shambles and really needs reconstruction.

There had been a large dredger in the Kirinde Harbour - one of the two that the Sri Lanka fisheries harbour corporation operaties - and that is now stranded in the interior. Many of its drums were spilled all over the harbour.

Clearly, the fishing industry is going to need major rehabilitation - its taken the most grievious damage and the fisherfolks have been badly hit.

Samir Shah backed up by a group called Architecture for Humanity has taken on the task of redesigning for Kirinda.