Challenge Anneka

Apex Industrial Roofing were contacted by ITV “Challenge Anneka” to help with a number of re-building projects in Sri Lanka following the tsunami in 2004.

As a team, in the time they were in Sri Lanka, they were able to re-roof a maternity hospital, rebuild a school and construct a children’s playground.

Some of the pictures can be seen below.

Please note: Health and Safety restrictions are very different in Sri Lanka!

Anneka Letter

The Full Story

TSUNAMI SPECIAL – In one of the most ambitious and emotional projects she’s ever faced, Anneka is to help rebuild a Sri Lankan community devastated by the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. More than ten years since her last challenge, the show sees Anneka and her team jet out to Sri Lanka to rebuild and equip a maternity clinic, a child friendly play centre, and renovate and equip a community cricket pavilion.

Nearly two years after the tsunami struck, claiming the lives of almost 200,000 people, aid organisation World Vision set Anneka the challenge to finish the three core projects in Sri Lanka that have been planned for many, many months. THE CHALLENGE ANNEKA team had to secure donations for everything they would need, from a delivery bed, drugs and ultrasound scanner for the maternity clinic to cricket nets for the pavilion and toys for the play centre. In specialist equipment alone, the donations from kind companies totalled over £80,000. But as Anneka reveals, getting the right equipment for the challenge and seeking help in its transportation over 5,000 miles to Sri Lanka is just the start of what will clearly be a mammoth exercise!

Once in Sri Lanka, Anneka and her team have just five days to complete the challenge. Her team of 18 co-workers include workmen with specialist skills like plumbing, roofing and plastering, as well as survivors of the Tsunami who are keen to give something back to the country they will forever have an emotional bond with. The British survivors have their own touching stories to tell Anneka, as do the people of Sri Lanka who have suffered but will now benefit from the work undertaken by CHALLENGE ANNEKA.

THE THREE PROJECTS – THE MATERNITY CLINIC – The Maternity Clinic is 50 yards from the sea in Beruwala, in the south-west district of Kalutara, and was severely structurally damaged by the tsunami. As a result, 2,500 families in the region have been without ante and post-natal care for two years with complications often going undiagnosed. Anneka’s challenge is to totally rebuild and equip the clinic so it can provide essential medical services again. The biggest of the three challenges, the clinic has no roof, gable wall or electrics, all the fittings need replacing and the clinic needs to be fully equipped with specialist supplies, including a delivery bed, portable ultrasound scanner, foetal heart monitor and basic supplies like syringes and stethoscopes. Anneka meets women who will benefit from the clinic and locals who suffered and lost loved ones.

THE CHILD FRIENDLY PLAY CENTRE – In the aftermath of the tsunami many children have nowhere to go while their parents rebuild their homes and businesses. Aid Organisations like World Vision devise ‘child friendly’ places to address the problem and provide safe places where children can play and learn how to deal with the impact of the disaster they’ve witnessed. Community volunteers run activities to help children recover and hold classes such as art, English and sports. Anneka’s challenge is to build a new permanent play centre in Payagala in the Kalutara District, to decorate and equip it with educational aids, furniture, books and toys, and provide a fully equipped playground, garden and cricket and sports area. When she arrives in Sri Lanka, the foundations have been laid and one wall built, but the rest is up to Anneka and her team. Anneka meets local children who will benefit from the new facilities to find out what they would like in their new play area and how they have been affected by the tsunami.

THE CRICKET PAVILION – A national obsession, cricket is an important pastime for Sri Lankans, so Anneka’s final challenge is to totally renovate a cricket pitch and pavilion next to the new children’s centre in Payagala. The pavilion was hit directly by the wave and together with the sports field has remained derelict and untouched for two years. Anneka and her team are tasked with providing a new playing surface and fully refurbishing the pavilion – which needs a new timber frame, ceiling, roof and sanitary ware. To complete the challenge, Anneka is asked to organise a gala cricket match between the local children and her team of Sri Lankan and UK workers.