GNF - Handicraft

Handicraft Production

The project focused on two handicraft activities: doormats produced by using coconut fibre (coir) and ornamental handbags and other articles made of reeds and other local grass species found in the wetlands. Both handicraft sectors are very traditional forms of generating income and were concentrated in the coastal areas of the Maduganga wetland and have therefore been severely affected by the Tsunami. The selection criteria and procedure for the families to receive a donation are similar as for the fishing gear.


Six sets of mat-weaving machines were distributed. Five families directly benefit from one set of machines. The total number of beneficiaries of this measure is 30 families. Ten families were given intensive training in the new Wetland Craft Centre in Polatukanda. The centre is managed by the Women Association Rantaru ("Golden Star") in close collaboration with the Nagenahiru Foundation. The building is rented by the Nagenahiru Foundation for a small, symbolic rent. The main counterpart is Mrs. Kusuma Gayasinhe. In the centre the women are educated on traditional handicraft techniques. Two types of local reed grass species (Watake and Galagha) are used for the production of environmentally friendly traditional handicraft products such as mats, bags, slippers, maps etc. The products are sold locally, as there is a good existing market for these products. It is aimed to develop and export opportunities, therefore as close relations to the Ministry of Rural Industries and Self Employment has been established to develop further markets for products.

 Wetland Craft Centre in Polatukanda
 Products made of reed and grass
 Machines for coir door mats