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Sri Lanka

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Reconstruction of Fish Market in Galle (Completed)


The tsunami that hit Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004 was the worst natural calamity in the history of this island-nation. It ravaged the southern coast — the most densely populated and urbanized part of the country -- and its impact was even more severe in the conflict-scarred North East where people had already suffered displacement for over 20 years. More than 70,000 houses have been reported as completely destroyed, with a further 30,000 damaged. Most of the community infrastructure was destroyed. Fisher folk and their families have suffered tremendous loss of life and devastation to their livelihoods, homes as well as their fishing gear, boats and markets. Within the framework of the UN-HABITAT Strategy for Transition Recovery for Sri Lanka, this project proposal will support the re-construction of a fish market in the city of Galle, enhancing livelihoods options for small scale fishing communities.


The main objective is to re-construct the destroyed fish market in Galle with a new building including a market and restaurant:

* Supporting the local fishing fleet, and recreating livelihoods for local fishermen and seafood traders;
* Creating livelihoods in restaurant management and the hospitality industry;
* Building local capacities in new building technologies.


The proposed development will comprise a two-storey building of approximately 5000 square .feet with a roof top as a safety escape in case of a major disaster as a tsunami The new building will be equipped with modern amenities .The fish stalls and other facilities for wholesale marketing will be confined to the ground floor. Space for fish vendors to keep their plastic boxes with iced fish will be provided under the stall slab. Arrangements will be made for the disposal of fish waste in closed containers. The restaurant complex with modern facilities will be installed in the first floor. A medium size cold storage facility will be provided within a distance of 120 square metres and off-site parking will be made available in the vicinity. The proposed moderate size cold storage facility will comprise two rooms each with a ten ton capacity. The estimated cost of the development including the cold storage facility will be well within the funds allocated to the project


The outcome of the project will be an entirely new fish market and a restaurant to replace the destroyed fish market. The proposed fish market would contain modern equipment and facilities to ensure proper hygienic standards and food security. The restaurant will be an entirely new feature, which will provide opportunities to obtain apprenticeship, training and employment in fish processing and restaurant management. It will be an added impetus to the tourist industry.

Appropriate technology will be used taking into account the local conditions with due regard for the need of the building to be constructed to withstand a possible disaster of the magnitude of a tsunami. Local expertise will need to be supplemented by foreign inputs including training and capacity building.

The fish market and restaurant have been completed, albeit with traditional building technology.

Development Partners / Partners

Development Partners: BASF
Partners: Ministry of Urban Development, Municipality of Galle, UN-HABITAT

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