The completion of a bridge connecting a predominantly Tamil village with a predominantly Muslim village in Mutur, in the Trincomalee District, brings to a conclusion a joint resettlement project undertaken by Muslim Aid of Sri Lanka (MASL) and the disaster and humanitarian aid organisation, AmeriCares.
The bridge spans the Kaddaiparichan River in Mutur and links Amman Nagar village with the largely Muslim village of Arafa Nagar. The bridge will play a double role –linking the two agricultural villages to the mainland and helping to bring the two communities together.
Both communities are committed to making their villages a joint hub of production, exporting their produce to the main market in Dambulla. The two villages share a cultivation area of more than 400 acres.
Muslim Aid personnel held group discussions with the villagers “The new 19-metre concrete single span Arafa Nagar Bridge, unites more than 300 families of ethnically diverse communities in the Arafa Nagar and Amman Nagar villages,” said AmeriCares Sri Lanka country director, Lisa Hilmi.The bridge will also boost the economic development of Mutur, the country director said.
Some 500 families cross this bridge daily. “Building bridges is a challenge, and this bridge has certainly had its fair share of challenges, said Muslim Aid Sri Lanka field office director Amjad Saleem. “What is even more important, however, is building bridges between communities. This was the primary purpose behind this bridge.”