Colombo’s Cleanup

Feb 08 (LBO) – The Social Service Ministry hopes to put-up Colombo’s estimated 1523 homeless in transitional housing by end 2006. Secretary to the Ministry V. Jegarasasingham said that poverty, the war and domestic abuse among other reasons has led over 1523 Sri Lankan men, women and children to take shelter on Colombo’s streets.

Not all of them however beg for a living, said Jegarasasingham adding that most of the street’s inhabitants were running odd jobs in the busy commercial districts of Colombo or in the upper and middle class city homes.

In the transitional homes, individuals who are able and willing to work, will receive vocational training and seed capital to start their own ventures.

Jegarasasingham said the Ministry would work with the Colombo Municipal Council, the Western Provincial Council and local and international non-governmental organizations,

The Ministry will also help the inhabitants to eventually find their own accommodation or to be repatriated with their families or villages they came from.

The Ministry’s programme is based on an early January study that took a headcount