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Friday, February 03, 2012 - 5.06 GMT

Living standards in estate sector improved


Investments in infrastructure and community services had improve the quality of life of workers who produce the island main export crop.

The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA), which represents 23 listed Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), said estate communities in RPC estates have seen improvements in all areas of quality of life since 1992.

Housing, water supply and sanitation, roads and medical facilities have been improved, significantly improving the social indicators of the community with reduced child and maternal mortality rates and better nutrition.

“Since 1992, to date, we can confidently say that there has been a marked improvement in all areas of quality of life among estate communities, because of ongoing programmes to improve living standards in RPC estates in all plantation regions," said PA chairman Lalith Obeyesekere.

"To date, housing, health and sanitation, and estate infrastructure such as supply of electricity, internal roads in RPC estates, have all been improved with investments running into billions of rupees.”

The PA said in a statement the latest data from the Department of Census and Statistics shows a significant improvement in estate sector living conditions.

A re-roofing programme to renovate damaged roofing of old line houses is also taking place to improve living standards in line houses until new housing units are built.

Institutional child births in RPC estates have increased from 60.8 percent in 1985 to 92 percent in 1996 and to 98 percent in 2010, the PA said.

It said 97 percent of expectant mothers registered for antenatal care before 22 weeks of pregnancy in 2010 and immunisation of estate children are now almost 100 percent in RPC estates.

"These initiatives have helped address historically poor health and nutrition indicators among plantation populations and are aimed at changing plantation community food habits, by educating children, mothers and youth, about healthy eating," the PA said.

Education levels of estate populations have steadily improved over the years, and since 1992, over 200 young men and women have entered university from RPC estates.







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Last modified: February 03, 2012.

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