CH2M Hill Builds Up Tsunami-torn Sri Lanka and Maldives

Nearly four years after a 9.2 earthquake off the Sumatra coastline completely devastated the lives, land, and infrastructure of the people of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, great progress and hope is being realized as families and economies are pieced back together, according to a Nov. 12 press release.

Funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the work of global engineering, construction, and operations firm, CH2M Hill have paired to rebuild better the infrastructure in these locations.

Rebecca Cohn, USAID mission director , said, "USAID's Tsunami Reconstruction Program consists of projects specially targeted to spur economic growth in Sri Lanka and assist local communities to grow their economies and recover from the devastating 2004 tsunami. These projects include construction of a new bridge over Arugam Bay, reconstruction or rehabilitation of nine vocational schools, installation of improved water supply systems, and reconstruction and upgrades of three damaged fishing harbors." In addition to the fishing harbors, CH2M Hill was involved in • Building water treatment plants to supply potable water to 40,000 people – something that didn't exist before.

• Designing, constructing, and operations training for two seawater reverse osmosis facilities in Maldives. The plants provided the first-ever treated water supply for the 8,000 island residents.

On Oct. 26, CH2M Hill with USAID successfully launched the seventh of nine Vocational Education Training Centers to be opened in Sri Lanka, which will teach 40 different skill trades for 2,000 students a year, enabling the country to become both completely self-sufficient and successful. Trades in high demand are apparel, masonry, plumbing, welding, engine repair, carpentry and IT.