Drawing authorities closer to the people in Mullipothanai
The streets of Mullipothanai, in the Trincomalee District, are usually crowded on Thursdays, with both the young and old making the best of the weekly fair, organized by the Tambalagamam Pradeshiya Sabha. With about 170 to 180 vendors displaying a variety of items, the weekly fairs draw close to 4,000 villagers every time they are held. While it has become successful in bringing the authorities closer to the people, the weekly fair is also the primary source of income for the Pradeshiya Sabha.
The Local Governance Project (LoGoPro) of UNDP supported the Tambalagamam Pradeshiya Sabha as part of its activities aimed at increasing their financial capacity and strengthening relationships between the government authorities, civil society and community groups. Funded by the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), Rs. 1.5 million was provided under the project.
The Pradeshiya Sabha, Mullipothanai, has so far constructed five permanent shops in the public market, and also built cement floors for the temporary shelters, thus providing enhanced facilities for the vendors to market their produce. Mr. Seeni Mohamad Sufiyan, Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha noted that the rent obtained through these shops is channeled towards the activities of the Pradeshiya Sabha. The Chairman explained that proper waste management procedures are also in place at the market. “There is a recycling plant. Garbage collection is done on a regular basis,” he said, adding that steps are also underway to construct a council room. “We started the market on a pilot basis. If we are able to gain a higher income through this, we can continue this work,” said Mr. Sufiyan.