villas at Angoda mental hospital
By Ranee Mohamed
It is strange but almost every patient living in the Angoda Mental
Hospital wants to go home.
"Give a call to my wife, give a call......
beggar stumbles down memory lane
That pain in the mouth
helping hand from the round Table
magic of youth...
villas at Angoda mental hospital
inmates languishing behind the iron gates awaiting the loved
ones who never come, Prema Hathurusinghe and Dr. Jayan Mendis
are in the picture
By Ranee Mohamed
It is strange but almost every patient living in the Angoda Mental
Hospital wants to go home.
"Give a call to my wife, give a call to my mother,
or father," they say. Each day they hang on to the iron
bars waiting for a visitor. But no one comes.
The wards are crowded. Over 1,200
patients are seeking inhouse treatment at this hospital. Every
day patients who walk in for treatment are admitted to the
wards. The wards continue to fill, with facilities getting
reduced, day by day.
The villas in the hospital is a new
concept. It is an exclusive place, with attached bathrooms, separate
beds and great food. In the menu are fruits, vegetables, noodles,
chicken, pulses, bread and butter. "This is like living in a
an inmate living in the villas. . "In the morning we are
treated to a tasty breakfast, then there is nothing to do. No one
wants to come and visit mental patients, no one wants to talk to us.
I want to go outside and see what is happening. I know that I have a
problem in my head, but I do not know what it is. It is for someone
outside to decide
- may be a doctor,"
he explained logically. He was a former university lecturer
is hard to imagine that these English-speaking, powdered inmates
sipping their teas are mentally disturbed. But hospital authorities
insist they are; daily medication and care keeps them on the brink
different classes in the villas -class 1 and
2 villas. "Our families do not want us, we have sent
many messages but they do not want to come and take us back. I want
to go back home! I want to go back and see my garden and the
familiar faces," said an elderly lady who gave me
names of her family members. "But they will not take me
back!" she cried. "I will have to die in here," she
said. The fact that her family members are paying Rs.10,000 a month
to keep her here in these exclusive villas, is not a source of
consolation for her.
The villas are the most sought after
place at the hospital. "The waiting list is long,
there are about 100 people in the waiting list," said a
Men sit staring at the blue skies. Some
of them are watching TV and yet others are reading newspapers. It is
like a retirement home. But there is something amiss in the lives of
these affluent people.
The general wards have no such
comforts. The hospital is doing all they can to give them care,
comfort and medication. The food is good - with everyone waiting for
the Wednesday meal of
yellow rice, chicken and potatoes. Compared to the wards, the
villas speak of an exclusive experience, of privacy, comfort and
"People are brought in here by
family members and admitted. But when they get better no one wants
to take them home," said Director of the hospital, Dr. Jayan
Mendis who has been in this
hospital since 1986.
Dr. Mendis understands the needs of the
mental patients. The doctors and the staff of the Angoda Mental
taken the responsibility of taking care
of these psychiatric patients, when their own families have
abandoned them. It was Dr. Mendis who was responsible for the
setting up of a medical ward at the Angoda Hospital. In this way
patients with mental illness suffering from other complications such
as cardiac problems, diabetes and other ailments need not go out of
the hospital for treatment. Today, mental patients are treated for
their other illnesses within the walls of this hospital. There are
also EEG and ECG technicians in this hospital.
The floor of the wards are strewn with
brooms, paper bags and crushed cups and
the minor staff of the hospital are always busy, constantly
cleaning up and picking up the mess.
The patients too have to be cleaned up constantly.
Wailing and laughing seems the order of
the day. Chatter
and loud laughter permeates the air.
But the staff have learnt to keep the patients
'under control' with
medication and care. The basic traits of mental illness
however remain. Inside the
closed wards and behind the closed iron doors, the inmates
minds' are in utter
chaos. All of them want to talk,
relate their life stories and pose for photographs.
In the male wards, well-dresssed male
patients were grooming themselves. Some were combing their hair and
with enchantment to the love songs of the Hindi film Veer Zaara.
Love was in the air- a medication-initiated serenity and happiness,
coupled with a state of restlessness.
Yet some were returning, soaking wet after a shower - they
had showered with their clothes on and were not willing to take them
off. The nursing staff seemed to have a great deal of patience,
coaxing the patients into doing the right thing. Some listened, and
others did not.
The hospital does not charge any kind
of fee for treatment. But
Dr. Mendis expressed dismay,
at the attitude of families who do not take the patients
back home. "This has become a problem for the hospital.
After patients recover, they do not go back home, they stay
here," said Dr. Mendis pointing to a ward with fans and clean
beds - the place where the 'unwanted' live.
In the female wards were young women,
but there were ageing mothers too. All of them wanted to go home.
Many of them knew the contact numbers of their loved ones, they gave
messages, messages that will not be well received.
"Many of these women have led
lives that have been plagued with problems. Many of them are family
problems, there are love problems too. The problems have created
family unit - some have lost their husbands, others a parent, and
many of them have lost both their parents at some time in their
life," said the matron of the women's wards, Prema
Hathurusinghe said that she has
observed that many of these patients have been embroiled in some
sort of family problem. "Some mothers are overseas, some
patients have lost their parent or parents at an early stage in life
and others have had alcoholic or
substance-addiction in the families, to deal with,"
pointed out Hathurusinghe.
My advise to all women is that whatever
the circumstances, one ought to be strong and try to live well, with
great strength of character," she said.
Mental illness however has been
observed to be slightly higher in males. Use of alcohol and other
substances may have some effect on this gender-related increase.
"The patients at the Angoda Mental
Hospital are a forgotten lot.These are people who like to savour the
good things in life. The nursing staff are kind and reward some
patients with a treat on their salary day.
"But no one brings them any kind
of food or donation. Sometimes a family of an inmate sends them
biscuits or cake. They do not even have proper clothes,"
said a nurse.
These desperate people are forgotten by
their loved ones and ignored by society.
Will the mental hospital be able to bear the brunt of this
negligence? Will it be able to house the increasing number of
patients that add to its wards, daily?
It is time something is done quickly and immediately.
are not taken back by their families"
Medical Director, Angoda Mental Hospital Dr. Jayan Mendis who
was earlier working in the same hospital
as a psychiatrist for eight years, says that the
hospital has to improve its facilities and space each day.
"Patients do not leave this place, and new patients are
coming in here everyday," he said.
"Change of lifestyle such as going
overseas, facing difficult situations, trauma, child birth
etc. can bring about mental illness," said Dr. Mendis.
"This hospital admits very serious
patients," said the doctor. Today there are eight doctors
to do admissions. The waiting time is only only one eigth of
the time they have been waiting earlier," he says. Dr.
has also set up eight on-call rooms for the
the eight medical doctors to attend to patients day and
Dr. Mendis also spoke of a horticulture
therapy that the hospital has introduced. He said that this
therapy is given to
patients who have been discharged and also to patients
with acute mental illness. "This
therapy helps them not only to get back their lost
concentration but also
gives them skills that will be useful in the future, he
The hospital needs
renovation badly. Also it needs needs five ETU beds,
two cardiac monitors, an ECG machine, two pulse oxymeteres,
two sucker machines, a D.C. shock machine, two opthalmoscopes,
an ambulance and two resuscitation sets.
"Admissions are increasing and our
main problem is trying to send these discharged patients back
home. They are hanging around because their families do not
want them back," said Mendis.
beggar stumbles down memory lane
He sat in a corner of the crowded side-walk with a blank expression on his
face. With his right hand stretched out to the passersby,
he was lost in a world of silence.
Dressed in a torn 'grey' shirt and a
faded sarong, he looked at the world with desperate eyes, praying
that those who passed along would notice his stretched hand.
As the sunlight burnt his dark skin, he
sat there with ruffled hair, only hoping that he had collected
enough moneyto buy himself a slice of bread.
This is 47 year old Shantha Kumara.
Seated in the corner of a crowded sidewalk in Moratuwa for the past
30 years, Kumara earns his meals,
No family to call his own, he has no
home and spends each night sleeping on the dirt strewn roads.
A stale 'feast'
"Please give me some money. I have
not eaten for two days and I am very hungry," he cries as we
His right hand stretches even further
as he continues in a desperate tone, pleading for some money and
"I am tired and I have not slept.
I am sick. Why doesn't
anyone help me?" he continues.
While he goes on
in a desperate tone, a man offers him a stale loaf of bread.
His face finally lightens up and he thanks the man profusely and
eats his 'food' in silence, ignoring the rest of the world.
"I have been sitting in this
corner for the past 30 years now," he tells us after his
I am sick and I have no place to go. I
have no family and friends. I am all alone," he says. As Kumara
continues, he tells us that he lost his parents at the age of 10.
"I had a very good childhood. I still remember the way my
mother and I used to play outside our house in Kalutara. I had a
younger sister. I do not know where she is now," he says.
Kumara tells us that one day, while he
and his sister were returning home from school, his neighbour was
standing outside his house, awaiting their return. "I knew
something had happened, immediately. I will never forget that day
because it was the day we returned home from school only to find
that our parents had been murdered by drug dealers in the
area," he says.
Leading a poor but yet happy life,
Kumara explains that after his parents death, he and his sister were
sent to an orphanage in Galle.
"Those in charge at the orphanage treated us very badly.
My sister got bullied by the older boys and I could not do anything
about it. I got beaten up for protecting her. I finally ran
away," he says adding that todate his biggest regret was
leaving his sister behind.
At the age of 12 Kumara came to Colombo
and worked in a roadside tea boutique in Mount Lavinia. However, due
to intolerable abuse by the boutique owner, Kumara ran away once
Searching the streets for food and
water, Kumara finally met a man in Moratuwa who took pity on the
little boy. "He is known as Kasun and he took me to his house,
only to realise that soon I would be forced into begging."
" I worked for Kasun for three
months but one day he threw me out onto the streets and forced me to
beg," he said adding that although at first he refused, he
later had no choice as his hunger was immense. "All I wanted to
do was fill my stomach. I was a small boy who did not have money or
a home. What was I supposed to do?" he cries.
It is past noon and the world hurries
along passing him. Kumara
goes back into a world of begging, praying that as the
evening draws nearer he would have collected enough for atleast a
stale slice of bread for
which he would find a street corner to sleep.
That pain in the mouth
There are two common diseases affecting teeth and
associated tissues. They are dental
caries and periodontal disease. Both the diseases have a
common factor, which plays the most important role in the formative
days of the disease. It is named as dental plaque. Plaque is a
sticky substance and consists of bacteria, food debris and saliva.
Plaque formation is a natural
occurrence in the oral cavity. Caries is a disease common in young
adults and children. It is the cavitation of teeth. It is caused by
acid, which is formed by the action of certain bacteria in plaque.
The sugar consumed orally is carried to the plaque and is turned
into acids by the plaque bacteria. This acid dissolves away the
enamel, which is the protective outer covering of a tooth.
bacteria live in the mouth and are
quite harmless. Sticky food containing sugar, clings on to
the tooth surface
facilitating the growth of colonies of bacteria. Some of the
bacteria in these colonies can turn sugar into acid dissolving the
enamel of teeth forming cavities.
Three main types
The three main types of food we consume
are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Where caries (dental decay) is
concerned, carbohydrate is the only food which can be turned into
acid to produce tooth decay. In this process the most important
carbohydrate is the refined carbohydrate called sugars. Sugars taken
by mouth can
be instantly turned into acid by the cariogenic bacteria in plaque.
Some of the food we consume such as biscuits, cakes, chocolates,
sweets, ice cream, sweetened canned fruits, vegetables, milk and the
natural starches such as peas, potatoes which are rich in
carbohydrates, are not
significant causes of caries.
When sugar is taken into the mouth,
within a minute or two, it is turned into acid, by plaque bacteria
which dissolves away a microscopic layers of tooth enamel. This is
the demineralisation process that occurs in caries. Even after the
end of a sugar meal, the acid produced by bacteria will persist for
a period, from 20 minutes to two hours, before it is neutralised by
the buffer action of the saliva.
Once neutralised further
demineralisation will not take place,
during which time a natural healing process takes place in
the teeth by the entry of the minerals such as flouride and calcium
ions in the saliva remineralising
the enamel and restoring the tooth surface. Therefore there
is a balance between the demineralisation and remineralisation
Sugar intake and frequency
If the sugar is confined to main
mealtimes, this will increase the time available for the process of
arresting of caries. It was believed that not the amount of
sugar taken, but the frequency with which it is taken that was
important in the occurrence of dental caries. However some studies
demonstrate that the amount of sugar taken also causes higher
prevalence of dental caries. Therefore both the amount and the
frequency of sugar intake should be controlled in order to reduce
the prevalence of dental caries. When the amount of time available
for demineralisation exceeds that of remineralisation, the reverse
takes place with a continuous acid production which will attack the
enamel. This will prevent remineralisation and will give rise to
destruction of the enamel, leading to exposure of the dentine
underneath. The enamel is a superficial tooth substance free of
nerves and blood vessels. Thus the first stage of caries attack is
At this stage the tooth decay will be
shown as a white, brown patch or as a shallow cavity. Once the
caries spreads to the dentine, pain or sensitivity will only last
for a short period and will relate to contact with hot, cold or
sweet food. At this stage if not treated, or the caries lesion
the pulp destroying stage sets in. The dead pulp decomposes
and the infected material passes through the root of the tooth, to
the underlying supporting tissues and the bone, forming a pus
leading to an abscess formation.
Now as we understand caries is a
breakdown of tooth substance, by the acid produced by plaque
bacteria in the presence of dietary sugars. Caries can be prevented
by restricting sugar intake to main mealtimes, and by making teeth
more resistant to acid attack. The most important substance in this
role is fluoride. The simplest and most convenient form of topical
fluoridation is brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride toothpaste allows the fluoride
to penetrate the plaque in the same way as the dietary sugars.
Saliva in the mouth neutralises the acid, produced by plaque
bacteria. Salivary flow is least during sleep time. Hence it is
absolutely necessary to brush daily before sleep. By promoting an
increased salivary flow, the acid attack can be reduced. Fruits,
cheese and sugar free chewing gum are substances effective in
stimulating salivary flow.
of these food between and at the end of meals will help
prevent caries. Elimination of stagnating areas also plays an
important role in the prevention of caries.
Oral hygiene and dietary discipline are
the patient's responsibilities in the prevention and control of
dental caries. Oral hygiene is keeping the oral cavity clean, free
of food particles and control of plaque accumulation. Cleaning of
teeth can prevent plaque accumulation. This is best performed by
brushing teeth effectively, removing accessible plaque. Using a
fluoride toothpaste, with a brush will remove food debris and plaque
leaving a film of fluoride on the tooth surface.
A toothbrush with a small head and
multy-tufted, medium, nylon bristles will help in achieving
effective cleaning. Effective tooth brushing requires time,
knowledge and skills. For this a dentist's guidance is important.
Although adequate tooth brushing removes plaque, it cannot prevent
caries unless accompanied with strict dietary control of sugars.
The type of treatment given to a tooth
diseased with caries, depends on the health of the pulp and the
extension of the lesion, and the value of the tooth to the patient.
The tooth may be filled, extracted or treated with root canal
therapy. Prevention is better than cure. Hence it is advisable to
have regular dental inspection every year. This will help to obtain
treatment at the very early stage,
Dr. Mrs. A. L. D. Wickramasekere
Dental surgeon in Charge
National Institute of Dental Sciences,
magic of youth...
When you reach middle age, you
realise there are certain things you can't do like when you
were young. You simply cannot keep up every˜ consecutive night˜
for a week and get up the next morning feeling fresh as a daisy and
carry out your normal everyday routine. This makes you very
irritable, you forget things, and if anyone dares to point it out,
you bite their heads off !
You simply cannot admit that you are
tired and all you want to do is sleep- you doggedly go with the
flow, no matter what.ÿBut when you meet up with childhood friends
with whom you haven't kept in touch with for years, you forget you
are supposed to be a responsible adult, and are reduced to a
giggling, screaming maniac !
The rest of the family look on in
amazement and wonder if this is a passing phase. You are getting on
their nerves. Who is this screechy loud person ? The telephone is
constantly engaged and they are certainly not amused. The person who
is constantly at their beck and call is suddenly not available 24/7.
What a catastrophe !ÿYou also realise that it is not possible to
dance non stop for one hour. You have to take a panting rest and
watch your kids do various acrobatic stunts that they call dancing.
I enjoy watching them, though, so
vigorous, graceful and lively. Not at all self conscious like we
used to be in the presence of strangers. Also, what poise and
confidence they have, the way they speak and interact with
nice thing is, you know that senile decay has still not set in, you
can remember the words of the songs you sang when you were a
teenager. When you shout it out at the top of your voice it sounds
People also basically remain the same,
even though you expect some of them to mellow with time. Your
favourite friends in your own 'gang' still remain special. Not that
we were dangerous to others like some of the kids of today, only we
kept company with each other more often than the others.
At this stage of life you can tell
someone off soundly, unlike when you were young and did not want to
be out of sync with the rest. I must say I enjoy being belligerent,
quite stimulating to the senses, makes you feel so powerful.
Crazy people get even crazier with age. They jump into
tractors for a bumpy ride, or pile themselves into trishaws
screaming all the while, heads, arms, and legs sticking out from all
The visitors from overseas are amazed
that some of our locals do things for free without expecting any
payment. Hats off to the local yokels!ÿThe downside of this is that
you are basically eating the whole day. Things which you had
forgotten existed suddenly appear, like pini jambu with
lunu-kudu(delicious!), pineapple with salt and pepper, stuffed
olives and achcharu ! The visitors have to be treated well, you see,
so biriyani, lampries, crabs and all manner of delicacies have to be
devoured. Even though you plan to skip the next meal, you just
cannot do so.
Menus cannot be scrutinised without the
aid of spectacles. It's so funny to see all of us putting them on.ÿYou
have so much to talk about, you keep forgetting certain things and
it all comes flooding back. Some spoke so much that they forgot they
couldn't swim and had to be rescued before they drowned. Our
husbands were glad when we went to nightclubs because for once we
were quiet, the music was so loud that we could not
Anyway, we were too busy watching the
antics of the young folk in amazement. Some of them behave
atrociously. Gave us more fodder for our next conversation.
After a few days our kids got used to seeing and hearing us
behaving like lunatics and joined us, themselves. One thing we
discovered was that all the games we planned could not t be played,
when 'Dog and the Bone' was suggested, we asked for the 'bones' to
be put on a table as we could not
of us could not even
hop to play hopscotch.
We also could not
do scissor jumps for the dodge ball. We put on our spectacles
to see the marbles we were supposed to play . Ah well, we still had
a great time!
Honky Tonk Woman
Byock goes over project details with T. Punithan. Right, a foreman
on an agriculture project funded by her aid group, and T.
Sundararajah, a farmer who is working with the group. Byock returned
to her native country from nine weeks of freelance aid efforts in a
Sri Lankan town devastated by tsunami
By Easwaran Rutnam
With so many foreign individual volunteers converging
in Sri Lanka to help the tsunami victims, fears for their safety,
especially the females, has now become a hot topic.
The American press reported a few weeks
ago that a young girl from the US was almost raped by a police
officer in Komari in April, while The Sunday Leader has learnt that
two other foreign female volunteers were nearly raped in the east,
just a few weeks after the tsunami.
The reports have raised concerns on how
safe these volunteers are and whether they will have second thoughts
on visiting the island to help tsunami victims.
Some Non Governmental Organisations
(NGO) operating in the country feel that the element of physical
risk to females working in the tsunami affected areas cannot be
ignored and it is best that they work in groups.
World Vision Country Director, Yu Hwa
Li told The Sunday Leader that they normally provide secure
accommodation for their volunteer workers.
"We will never leave them alone.
We always make sure they are in groups and in proper accommodation.
Not a tent," Lee said.
Oxfam Media Spokesman, Ravi Prasad says
the organisation will never encourage female volunteers to be on
their own in tsunami tents.
"We have female workers but
physical danger has never been a case because we take every possible
precaution for their safety," Prasad said.
Li said that there is a security
department that operates a programme on the safety of the
volunteers and added that it will be advisable for individual
volunteers to sign up with an organisation for their safety.
Meanwhile when contaced by The Sunday
Leader, IGP Chandra Fernando said that he will inquire into the
incident reported in the Washington Post incident as he was not
aware of it.
from the Washington
Komari, Sri Lanka —
She was fresh out of college, bright-
eyed and ambitious, an earthy, well-read physician’s
daughter from Missoula, Mont., with an iPod, a loving family
and lots of big ideas. The only thing Satya Byock said she
lacked was "a freaking plan."
The tsunami gave her
one. Two months after the December 26 calamity in South Asia,
equipped with high hopes and $13,000 in donated funds, Byock
made her way to this remote fishing and farming community on
Sri Lanka’s east coast. Here, she joined forces with several
other volunteers — including a firefighter from Washington
State and a young Australian couple — in an ad hoc recovery
Byock hooked up with
a tsunami relief group in her home town of Missoula, helped
raise money and learned about Komari from her local newspaper.
An aunt bought her a plane ticket to Colombo, where she landed
on February 19.
The money Byock
brought with her from Missoula, along with funds raised
elsewhere, swelled the team’s coffers to about $40,000.
But she had other
problems. Byock ran afoul of a local police official, who
found her at home by herself one afternoon and made what she
regarded as "inappropriate" overtures. Word of the
episode got back to the man’s superiors, who reprimanded
him, Byock said. The official then turned hostile, demanding
repeatedly to see her passport — which she feared was a
prelude to deportation — and interfering with her work.
with the police official, however, were not over. During a
meeting that week with the man’s superior, she and her
colleagues learned that the officer was due to be transferred
as a consequence of her complaint about his behaviour. Fearing
retribution by the officer or one of his friends, all three
decided it would be best if Byock left the country as soon as
In a hotel lobby in
Colombo shortly before her departure, Byock was philosophical
as she reflected on her nine weeks in Komari. She expressed
confidence that the work she started would continue, tempered
with regret that she would not be around to see it. And far
from being disillusioned by the experience, she said she would
like to return to Sri Lanka, albeit as a paid development
"I don’t feel
like I failed," she said.
— John Lancaster
helping hand from the round Table
President, Round Table International,
Tom Albrigtsen of Norway is currently on a short visit to Sri Lanka
to oversee the execution of the tsunami relief activities undertaken
by that organisation in the tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka.
The Round Table is an International association of young men
between the ages of 18 and 40, who devote some of their free time to
build new friendships, to make the world a better place.
was founded in the United Kingdom in 1927 by Louis Marcheshi.
Though the fellowship, is their forte,
Round Table International also does charity work and community
service all over the world.
Round Table Sri Lanka has a history of over 14 years, and its
current president is Tabler Tushar Amalean.
The motto of this organisation is 'Adopt, Adapt and Improve.'
It also has a sister organisation in Sri Lanka for the wives
of its members, and is called, Ladies Circle Sri Lanka.
The current president of this
organisation is Thushi Fonseka.
Tom Albrigtsen was interview by The
Sunday Leader, and below are excerpts of the interview
Round Table International has been described as an
association of young men focusing mainly on community service,
fellowship and indirectly teaching leadership qualities.
Can you elaborate?
Round Table International is an association of young men -
between the ages of 18 and 40 - who devote some of their free time
to build friendship towards making the world a better place.
Round Table exists in 79 countries, with a membership of over
40,000 around the world.
These members, who are called Tablers, are linked into a new
world of common values and ideas, and
belief that talking, understanding and helping each other is the
best way to avoid confrontation.
We are neither a political nor a religious organisation.
Our membership consists of people - people from all walks of
life - embracing representation of nearly every profession and
occupation, and promotes social-interactivity, fellowship,
understanding, especially amongst peoples of different culture,
language and political backgrounds.
Q: How long has the Round Table been
operating in Sri Lanka, and what really has been its role?
A: Round Table has been operating in
Sri Lanka for the past 14 years, and has been involved in
fellowship, charity and community service.
To talk about our recent activities - Immediately after the
tsunami, we were engaged in providing food and supplies to the
tsunami affected people. In fact, we were among the first, to
respond to the needs of the affected people.
Q: In addition to the temporary relief
you offered to the affected people, how are you involved in
A: Currently we are involved in
repairing/rebuilding four partially damaged schools, and the work is
estimated to cost around US $
The schools are
Hegalla Maha Vidyalaya in Kosgoda, Balapitiya in the south.
The student population there is around 1,600.
Hikkaduwa Maha Vidyalaya, which has 600 children.
Patuwatta Lanka Sabha Vidyalaya, Hikkaduwa.
It has around 250 children.
(4)Punitha Arulananda Vidyalaya,
Batticaloa has 250 students.
are altogether 2,700 to 3,000 students being served by our
Q: Are the buildings coming up at the
same sites the schools were originally located, or are they being
Maha Vidyalaya in Balapitiya has about five acres of land,
and there is no question of shortage of land there. So, the work
there has been programmed into four phases.
The first and
second phases are being taken together, and they include
buildings for the library, laboratory, computer room and similar
Everything possible is being done for the work to progress
without disturbing the students.
The work has been awarded to a contractor after following
proper tender procedures.
The work will be supervised by our members who are engineers
and architects. Phases
three and four will include other facilities.
The other schools need to be shifted, as they are within the
buffer zone, and alternative land has to be found by the Ministry of
Education. One of these schools has already been allocated land, and
land for the other schools is in the process of being identified
Incidentially, as these four schools
were partially damaged - i.e. about 60% damaged - the work would
involve repairing as well as building anew.
However, as three of these schools have to be shifted, it
would involve new construction.