LoGoPro supports the construction of a playground in Poompugaar
Whether it’s to engage in a friendly game of cricket, take on the field for an inter-school football tournament or simply get together for a village sports day, a village playground is a vital asset for any community. Having realized this need, the Local Governance Project (LoGoPro) of UNDP, funded by the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, recently supported the construction of a playground in Poompugaar, in the Trincomalee District. The playground was declared open on July 2, 2011.
The benefits of this initiative are twofold. While the playground provides a space for villagers to engage in recreational activities, it also addresses yet another pressing need of the community, that of soil erosion. With their village located at a steep slope, soil erosion was a major concern for the villagers of Poompugaar. UNDP had initially provided Rs. 1.5 million to the Town and Graets Pradeshiya Sabha under pillar 2 of LoGoPro, Participatory Planning and Local Development Fund. The funds were aimed at increasing the financial capacity of the Pradeshiya Sabha and strengthening relationships between the government authorities, civil society and community groups. However, affected by soil erosion, following heavy rains, the villagers, together with the Rural Development Society (RDS), requested the authorities to construct a bund and level the slope by filling up the ground with soil. The playground was thus constructed on this leveled surface, thereby preventing soil erosion.
Construction work on the bund was carried out under the supervision of the RDS, while unskilled labour was provided by the villagers. Drains were also constructed as part of the project activities.
The playground is currently used by four sports club, while plans are also underway to rent it out to schools to host sports meets and other sports activities. This will help generate an income for the playground, which can then be channeled towards the further development of the ground. In addition, sports competitions for the villagers, such as annual football matches, are also planned to be organized at the ground, thereby facilitating greater social cohesion among the communities and uplifting the lives of villagers in Poompugaar.