In Dubai, Thales employees are mobilizing to provide additional support to the project sponsored by Darshani Kanagaratnam in Sri LankaBy Fondation Thales In Last, news
Winner of the Thales Foundation’s 2017 award, the project led by Darshani Kanagaratnam in Kayts, an island in northern Sri Lanka, aims to build a plant barrier to protect coastal villages from natural disasters. Recently, Darshani launched a crowdfunding campaign to round out other needs around this project.
The island of Kayts, one of the poorest in Sri Lanka, where 85% of the population lives below the poverty line, is experiencing severe droughts and marine and wind erosion. Indeed, one of the major challenges is having an access to safe drinking water and efficient sanitation, worsened during the internal conflict that lasts until 2009.
Since the Sri Lankan government will not be able to establish a permanent drinking water supply to the island until 2028, NGOs such as the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) are already trying to remove sand from the island’s ponds to prevent drought and provide water points for the inhabitants. By protecting the inhabitants from these natural scourges, the project supported by the Foundation and supported by CHA, aims to ensure a dignified life for the inhabitants and to meet the subsistence needs of vulnerable families.
Darshani Kanagaratnam has been working at Thales Middle East for over 10 years as a system engineer. Originally from Sri Lanka, she was there during the tsunami that struck the island on December 26th ,2014. More determined than ever after this disaster, she decided to commit herself to most needy in her native country and to the social, economic and environmental development of Sri Lanka.
In August 2017, Darshani Kanagaratnam returned to Kayts, where she visited two schools that lacked a decent sanitation facility and access to safe drinking water. Upon her return, she decided to conduct an awareness campaign among Thales employees in Dubai to raise additional funds. The funds will be used to finance sanitation, water tanks, water pumps with generators and some computers in a school in Kayts where 300 children are studying with their 20 teachers.
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