Crisis report - Sri Lanka flood update 2 Jun 2003
Emergency relief operations are well underway throughout the five Districts. Only two Districts still have families in temporary camps in schools and temples and they are expected to return home or move in with relatives in the near future.
A few days ago there were fears of an outbreak of waterborne diseases amongst these groups, but the illness was quickly contained, thanks in large part to prompt action by local health authorities and Sri Lankan and Indian military emergency teams.
The Sri Lankan Red Cross, with support from Plan, has clearly been very active. Almost all roads are now open (though many will need repair in the longer-term), public transport is running and many shops and businesses have re-opened. The dramatic images of the floods themselves - people wading through chest high water or marooned on strips of higher land - are now a thing of the past.
Plan Sri Lanka's direct emergency assistance to families in Hambantota District, where Plan works, has moved ahead. This is being carried out in close partnership with the local authority - the "District Secretariat".
Pumps for removing flood-contaminated open wells have been handed over to the Medical Officer of Health and distribution of grants for clothing for families is currently under way.
Plan Sri Lanka will prioritize support for Sponsored Child families and other poor families in Hambantota District to rebuild their homes, through grants and/or the provision of materials such as roofing sheets and cement, as well as technical advice on designs. The immediate focus will be on the 209 families who have completely lost their homes, but assistance will also be given to some of the 614 families whose homes have been damaged.