Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Wellawaya Sri Lanka
The Wellawaya Division of Moneragala District, in Uva Province, Sri Lanka, joined the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in December 2012. The project receives technical support from the WHO country office in Sri Lanka and is implemented through the Uva Provincial Council with the support of the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Health. Elder’s Committees and Disabled Peoples’ Organizations are the key stakeholders of the project.
The project is unique in that it recognizes the interface between ageing and disability and strives to create an inclusive environment for both the fast ageing population, as well as persons living with disabilities. The city is being developed as a model which could be replicated all across the island.
An action plan for ten years was finalized in March 2013 in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. Several awareness programmes have been conducted over the past year in the city, while the national event celebrating the International Day of Persons Living with Disabilities (December 3) was held in the city with the Honourable Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka as the Chief Guest. This event was a mark of recognition and support of the project by the country’s leadership.
Ramps have been established in all public buildings in the division while the conference/auditorium facility has been made a completely accessible venue. Ramps were established in 29 Elder’s Committee community centres across the division. The pavements will be improved within the coming months making them fully accessible for the elderly and the disabled.