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08 Jan 2019 description
report Salesian Missions

(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in the city of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea held a roundtable discussion at the end of November 2018 on the needs of some 400 refugees on Manus Island which is part of Manus Province in northern Papua New Guinea. For many of these refugees, it was their sixth Christmas season far from home and living in difficult situations.

24 Dec 2018 description

Ranga Pallawala, Scott A. Muller and Tim Woods report on a project that is strengthening multi-level governance approaches for low-emissions development in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s vulnerability to climate change

26 Oct 2018 description

Nearly 4,000 of more than 62,000 refugees living in camps in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu have registered to return

By Rina Chandran

BANGKOK, Oct 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thousands of Sri Lankan refugees living in India are ready to return to their homeland decades after fleeing civil war, according to a rights group that said returnees will receive a plot of land and other assistance.

10 Oct 2018 description

"Despite repeated pledges by the authorities, the military has been frustratingly slow to restore land to the rightful owners"

By Rina Chandran

BANGKOK, Oct 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sri Lanka has failed to fulfil pledges to return properties to thousands of people forced from their homes during decades of war, many of whom now live in desperate poverty, researchers said on Tuesday.

06 Jun 2018 description

Weather and disaster offices have for years faced criticism for a lack of flood early warnings - but that is changing this year, experts say

By Amantha Perera

MARAWILA, Sri Lanka, June 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In late May, floods were the last thing on Chamindha Fernando's mind.

A drought that started in late 2016 was in its second year and the biggest local worry was that drinking water in Marawila, a coastal town about 65 km north of Colombo, might run out.

16 May 2018 description

New approach puts theory of Climate-Resilient Water Management into practice on the ground

  • Climate-driven water scarcity could reduce GDP growth rates in South Asia by as much as 6%.1

  • Climate change will increase water-stress through irregular rainfall patterns and increased incidence of floods and droughts.

  • The Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme has developed a conceptual framework that clearly distinguishes Climate Resilient Water Management (CRWM) from traditional approaches to water management.

02 Apr 2018 description

Two decades ago, Diana Princess of Wales walked in Angola’s minefields. In doing so, she captured the conscience of states, civil society and the public and helped inspire the final successful push to achieve the groundbreaking 1997 Ottawa Treaty banning landmines. States, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and campaigners came together in a way that changed the world.

02 Mar 2018 description

As extreme rainfall increases as a result of climate change, Colombo is moving to keep itself above the floodwater tide

By Amantha Perera

COLOMBO, March 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When heavy rain falls in the hills and plains west of Colombo – and in the city itself at the same time - Sri Lanka's capital drowns.

As runoff from the west rushes into the Kelani River, which empties into the sea just north of Colombo, water begins to spill into the network of canals that cross the city.

13 Dec 2017 description

Early alerts to media, police and the military should be expanded to directly reach mobile phone users, disaster experts say

By Amantha Perera

COLOMBO, Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the early evening of Nov. 29, Ajith Dias, an office worker in Colombo, started receiving warnings on Facebook of a brewing storm nearing Sri Lanka's southern coast.

"It was Wednesday early evening, it was getting dark and cloudy. But there was no (government) warning, at least no warning that I received," Dias said.

02 Nov 2017 description

by Amantha Perera | @AmanthaP | Thomson Reuters Foundation

COLOMBO, Nov 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Siri Hettige, a sociology professor at Colombo University, conducts surveys of young people across Sri Lanka, he never fails to ask one key question: Does anybody want to become a farmer?

No, has been the overwhelmingly emphatic answer, he said.

That is one indicator of the growing poverty plaguing many farmers in Sri Lanka, something that is driving increasing migration each year out of rural areas.

05 Oct 2017 description

By Amantha Perera

PERIYAKULAM, Sri Lanka, Oct 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - At 52 years old, with two grown children, Newton Gunathileka thought he should be working less by this point. Instead he has never worked so hard – and earned so little.

Gunathileka, from the Sri Lankan village of Periyakulam, in the North Western Puttalam District, is among hundreds of thousands of rural Sri Lankans who have borne the brunt of the worst drought in four decades.

03 Oct 2017 description
report Start Network

This document is designed to make it easier for agencies to raise Start Fund anticipatory alerts for cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, or to submit Start Fund project proposals when an alert has been activated.

The Start Fund Crisis Anticipation Window enables members to begin responding before a crisis turns into a disaster. Acting in anticipation of humanitarian crises is new for many agencies. It can be difficult to decide when to trigger an anticipatory alert through the Start Fund and what activities are the most effective.

15 Sep 2017 description

By Amantha Perera

KIRIYANKALE, Sri Lanka, Sept 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For four months, Achini Dinesha's life has revolved around water – or, more precisely, the lack of it.

Bathing in privacy and safety is now a matter of careful planning and lucky timing for the 32-year-old mother of two small children. It also involves an arduous trek of 7km (5 miles) from her house in the village of Kiriyankale, in Sri Lanka's North Western Province, to the nearest full waterhole.

02 Aug 2017 description

OFID Quarterly examines the wellbeing, safety of children across the world

Vienna, Austria, August 2, 2017. “I like schnitzels, but some food, I don't like,” says 14 year-old Shokria, who is originally from Afghanistan. “I miss some special food from Afghanistan.” Shokria left her home when her father was killed and has been in Vienna for nearly two years. Her story is just one of many perspectives on child refugees examined by the July edition of the OFID Quarterly magazine, which is circulating as of today.

28 Jul 2017 description

After torrential rains and flooding in May, the country faces four times as many cases as average

By Amantha Perera

COLOMBO, July 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Eight years after the end of a bloody civil conflict, Sri Lanka is on a war footing once again. This time all available resources have been pitched against a pesky and increasingly deadly foe: the dengue-carrying mosquito.

18 Jul 2017 description

by Amantha Perera

COLOMBO, July 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - During Sri Lanka's May floods, rescue crews in Kiriella, a small town in Rathnapura District, spotted a remarkable sight.

A middle-aged woman, trudging through waist-deep floodwater, clutched a rooster carefully above the torrent, while a small girl struggled to hold onto the woman's waist, at times barely able to keep her head above water.

10 Jul 2017 description
report Salesian Missions

(MissionNewswire) Sri Lanka’s southwest monsoon season, which runs from May to September, has brought unusually heavy rains even for the season. The most recent rains at the end of May caused major floods and landslides. Salesian missionaries living and working in the region report that the local Disaster Management Center has reported 202 deaths and 96 people missing. More than 77,000 people have been displaced and more than 1,500 homes destroyed. A Salesian House was also affected with its perimeter wall collapsing.

22 Jun 2017 description

Women and children can be disproportionately affected by disasters, but taking a closer look at disaster data could help reduce their vulnerabilities

By Amantha Perera

VALASSMULLA, Sri Lanka, June 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When floods swept through this small town in Sri Lanka's Southern Province, 12-year-old Radhika Dayarathne lost more than her home.