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Skills shortage hampers rebuild

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PLANT AND SKILLED labour is still needed to rebuild the tsunami hit areas of Sri Lanka, ICE vice president Gordon Masterton said.

He has just returned from a visit to the island with a field investigation team from the American Association of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

'ICE Sri Lanka has called for bricklayers and joiners to come forward to help teach locals, ' said Masterton.

He added that up to a million people had been made homeless, putting a strain on resources.

Bricks from damaged buildings are being stockpiled for re-use, but sand is in short supply to rebuild concrete structures.

'The local engineering community need ideas on building techniques that do not rely on large quantities of sand for concrete, ' said Masterton.

ICE Sri Lanka has also called for ideas on how to source sand or fine material from onshore or offshore sources, economically and environmentally.

'A shortage of construction equipment is also a major obstacle to development.

Any offers of second hand machinery would be warmly received, ' added Masterton.

A report on Masterton's visit and those by ICE deputy director general Amar Bhogal to Thailand and Indonesia and by ICE Asia Pacific committee chairman Graham Plant to India will be published in April.

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