Pabayagama Estate is located in the Kegalle District. It is a plantation community and the workers here have honed their skills in rubber cultivation, harvesting, and processing over many generations. It is home to 45 families of estate workers and their families. There are another 25 families from Weldeniya Division. The area has 60 school-age children who are forced to make a 5km treacherous trek to attend school- their commute includes crossing 3 rivers. This journey becomes more hazardous during the rainy season. This area is known for flash flood events. Consistent rain over a period of a few hours can create storm surges at heights above 6 ft. Parents refuse to send their children to school if rain is forecasted during the children’s journey to school or their return. This is due to the fear that they will be washed away by the river. This interferes with the education of the children- severely restricting their opportunities in life.
Gammadda Architects, after consultation with Government Engineers, have decided to construct a bridge across one of the 3 rivers, because after crossing the first dangerous river they have a small footpath to the next village where the school is. This will ensure safe passage to school children who use this route. Other residents will also see time savings on their commute through this area and will have improved access to essential services. The construction will be done using local labor under the supervision of an Engineer. Gammadda will be monitoring and reporting on the progress of the bridge construction. The foundation stone was laid today in a groundbreaking ceremony.