Factors Affecting the Satisfaction of Post-Disaster Resettlers in the Long Term: A Case Study on the Resettlement Sites of Tsunami-Affected Communities in Sri Lanka

Jagath Manjula Arunakumara Manatunge, Udya Abeysinghe


The 2004 tsunami is one of the most devastating natural disasters the world has experienced in the recent past, and it is imperative that we learn from this experience about how to effectively implement post-disaster housing projects. Relatively little research has been conducted to study the level of satisfaction of affected persons in the long term after receiving houses in new settlements with ‘better’ socio-economic and physical facilities. The post-disaster resettlement schemes established in Sri Lanka provide an ideal setting to study the factors affecting long-term satisfaction of communities in the context of providing permanent housing. The present study focused on 12 such sites in Sri Lanka. The elements/criteria chosen to assess the long-term satisfaction of the resettlers consisted of factors related to site selection, the design of dwelling units and surroundings, material well-being and provision of services and infrastructure, aspects related to social factors and perceptions regarding the resettlement process, neighbourhood and social interactions. From the observations of this study, it can be concluded that despite the availability of sufficient funding, the opportunities to plan, design and implement sustainable community-responsive resettlement programmes for tsunami affected households were largely missed. Overall, it was noted that the resettled communities included in the present study are not satisfied in the long-term due to various physical, environmental and socio-economic factors. Particularly inappropriate site selection and design of functional spaces, poor construction of houses and common spaces, and inconvenient access to social infrastructure assets were factors that need more attention in planning resettlement housing.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jad.v3i1.10604


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