One of the bathing stations under construction at Menik Farm
Top apparel exporter Brandix has commenced the construction of bathing facilities for internally displaced persons at the Menik Farm complex in northern Sri Lanka, in one of its biggest CSR projects this year.
The Group, which has made water and sanitation the central theme of its corporate social responsibility programme, is building 50 bathing stations, each comprising of 20 bathing units, providing the camp with bathing facilities for up to 1,000 people at a time.
"Facilities for water supply and sanitation are two of the most critical needs of the IDP camps," said Anusha Alles, Head of CSR at Brandix. "These are areas in which the Group has extensive experience, as our CSR projects are all motivated by the fundamental premise that Water is Life, and involve building or improving water supply infrastructure and sanitation facilities for needy people."
"Facilities for water supply and sanitation are two of the most critical needs of the IDP camps," Anusha Alles, Head of CSR at BrandixShe said the project, expected to be completed by end September would be yet another example of private sector involvement in assisting the Government in efforts to provide sustainable living conditions to the thousands of IDPs in the welfare villages.
An important feature of the project was that Brandix engaged the displaced persons to provide labour for the construction, enabling them to earn some income and become closely involved in the outcome.
Before work on the project commenced, representatives of the Brandix CSR team carried out a survey of the site with the assistance of the Water Supply and Drainage Board to identify the most suitable locations for the bathing stations. A cost-effective design that would minimize wastage of water was used, and all bathing stations are incorporated with inter-built drainage lines which are connected to the main drainage system to ensure that the bathing facilities would remain hygienic.
The 50 bathing stations have been strategically located so that they serve four zones of the welfare camp. Separate stations have been designated for men and women and all bathing areas have been fully covered to provide users with privacy.
In another demonstration of its empathy for the community earlier this year, Brandix donated garments worth Rs. 20 million and Rs. 2.5 million worth of relief items consisting of water tanks, water bottles, food and dry rations to the IDPs in the north. These items were collected with the participation of the Group's entire workforce.
Brandix has also supported the Government's efforts to rebuild the economy of the Eastern Province by investing in a factory at Punani in the Batticaloa District, which currently employs 220 Associates. A majority of them are from families that were displaced as a result of the conflict.
Brandix pioneered the concept of 'total solutions' in Sri Lanka's apparel sector. The Group specializes in casual bottoms, intimate and active wear, textiles, knitted fabrics, sewing and embroidery thread, accessories and hangers, and also offers wet processing and finishing and fabric printing. Brandix is a preferred solutions provider to some of the world's leading apparel brands, including Gap, Marks & Spencer, Victoria's Secret, PINK, Abercrombie & Fitch, NEXT, Lands' End and Tommy Hilfiger.