USAID/OFDA South Asia Newsletter January and February 2011.
USAID Responds to Floods in Sri Lanka
Families looked on as heavy rains and rising flood waters tore through their carefully planted fields, submerged roads, inundated wells, and caused entire villages to empty as hundreds of thousands of people sought refuge in nearby evacuation sites. As multiple waves of floods washed through villages in Sri Lanka, some families lost everything.
Others returned home to find that the rice and other crops they had planted—most only weeks away from harvest— had been completely destroyed. In many areas, these crops not only provided families with a source of food, but also gave them income to purchase essential household items.
According to the Government of Sri Lanka, two waves of floods in January and February affected an estimated 1.2 million individuals and damaged or destroyed up to 95 percent of rice paddy crops in some locations in Eastern Province.
With rains easing and flood waters receding, nearly all displaced individuals have returned to their houses; however, individuals continue to experience challenges due to damage to crops, wells, and other infrastructure, as well as loss of basic household goods.