AMDA Emergency Relief #5: Emergency Relief for Flood Victims in Sri Lanka
On 02 January, Kilinochchi District Government ended its mobile medical service in Kilinochchi as most of the evacuation centers have closed. St. John Ambulance Sri Lanka, which had been working jointly with AMDA since the onset of the flooding, also decided to stop its relief assistance accordingly. AMDA decided to continue relief activities for the affected people after going back to their home.
Based on the discussion between regional public health office in Kandavalai village and AMDA, Public Health inspectors, Army Special Soldiers and the AMDA nurse as a team made a home visit to the affected families in the village. This home-visit was intended to clean their borewell in order to prevent infectious diseases as the borewell water for daily use was contaminated by the flooding. Alongside the home-visit, the AMDA nurse with the help from the team gave health-related advice to six people and checked their vital signs. In place of mobile medical service, public health department in Kandavalai is monitoring the local residents living environment and their health status through the home-visits.
On the 3rd of January, the AMDA nurse visited and took a tour in Kilinochchi District General Hospital. When local medical staff were handling a trauma patient with both thighs injured in the emergency room, the AMDA nurse helped them treat the patient. While in the hospital, the nurse found out that fortunately, the hospital had no direct damage from the flooding and accepted only a few affected people who needed the treatment. On the 4th, the nurse visited the school in Kilinochchi whose students participate in AMDA Peace Building program, a youth exchange program for the next generation. The school also didn’t have any damage from the disaster.
A local midwife shared her story on flood experience in Kandavalai Village with the AMDA nurse. Immediately after flooding, families with either an expectant mother in or after their 36 weeks of pregnancy or an infant up to 2-month old were temporarily moved to the Kilinochchi District General hospital by ambulance or boat. She also said, “Currently, many are feeling uneasy about their finance. Although 80% of the villagers make their living on farming, their crops are flooded and cannot be sold in the market. Seen from outside, houses in the village don’t seem to be damaged by the flooding. Inside of the houses, however, are flooded and many furniture and household goods are now no longer usable.”
According to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre, as of 7th Jan., two deaths have been confirmed, two injured, and a total of 123,836 people from 39,876 households have been affected by this disaster.