Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2005
Reconstruction Efforts in Sri Lanka

The December 26 tsunami that hit Sri Lanka caused the postponement of the Wisconsin/Minnesota Environmental Mission to Sri Lanka. The delegation of environmental engineering firms and equipment suppliers which was originally scheduled to go to Sri Lanka the second week of February will now travel to South Asia the week of April 4.

The focus of the mission was to provide solutions for the lack of wastewater treatment facilities that have adversely affected the drinking water supply for Colombo, the capital. The destruction in coastal areas from the tsunami has aggravated the situation and increased the need for new technology and equipment.

The U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP), part of the U.S. Agency for International Development, has been the chief coordinator of the mission in Sri Lanka. US-AEP has been heavily involved in rescue and reconstruction efforts. The agency is currently helping communities manage the extensive amount of solid waste (debris, plastics and tree parts). It is seeking information on suppliers of wood chippers, crushers (for building debris), bailers (polyethylene and plastic) and crushers (for plastic). This equipment should be smaller and able to be pulled by a tractor or a truck.

US-AEP is also working on a project to rebuild about 150 children's parks and school playgrounds that were severely damaged. The hope is to bring at least a little bit of normalcy back to children's lives in the affected areas. So far, US-AEP has been successful in raising funds to do the construction-related work. The agency is now seeking suppliers of equipment or additional donors willing to cover the cost of equipment. Wisconsin firms or organizations that can meet the needs of either the solid waste handling or the playground project can contact Stanley Pfrang, COMMERCE International Consultant (ph: 608-267-0639, spfrang@commerce.state.wi.us) for more information.

-- Stanley Pfrang

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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