Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: 11 million rupees released towards flood and landslide relief and recovery operations - Situation report 3

News and Press Release
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By Mahieash Johnney - IFRC Communications & Information manager in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

11/01/2011 @ 1400hrs

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies have launched a preliminary appeal for a 11,000,000 rupees (100,000 Swiss francs, 103,000 USD) to support and assist victims of floods and landslide resulted from recent incessant rains island wide.

Since early December, intermittent heavy rains have fallen across Sri Lanka, causing floods and landslides with far reaching affects in over 14 districts, while claiming the lives of 10 people and affecting over 800,000 people.

Districts such as Ampara, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, Monaragala, Nuwara-Eliya, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Kandy, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Monaragala, Ratnapura, Kilinochchi and Matale are severely affected by the incessant rains experienced in the past few weeks, whilst other districts in the country too are affected by intermittent heavy wind and rain.

"This initial appeal will support our emergency response in the affected districts, where we have been providing water, dry rations and Non food Relief Items to the victims. Throughout our volunteers have been assisting in evacuation, cleaning hospitals, providing boat service etc. Our strength is having our volunteers in all affected communities, making our efforts reaching most vulnerable people swiftly. We want continue in assisting the displaced people whose lives are devastated by the floods or landslides" said Tissa Abeywickrama, The Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society.

He further said that in the interim National headquarters' of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society have released a sum of 6 million rupees to branches in the affected regions to carry on with initial relief efforts currently at hand.

The Director General of SLRCS also said "This appeal will not only support the distribution of basic relief items to the vulnerable families, but awareness raising initiatives to reduce the risk of waterborne and water related diseases; the provision of safe water; adequate sanitation as well as hygiene promotion for the affected families"

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society has assisted the basic needs of some 6000 families through the rainy period since early December 2010, with assistance of IFRC, German Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The relief items already distributed includes food parcels; hygiene kits; kitchen kits; mosquito nets; blankets and water purification tablets.

"We will continue to support the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and its efforts to restore the lives of these devastated families by means of financial, technical and ground support in the days to come" said Bob McKerrow, Sri Lanka Head of Delegation for the International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies.

He further said "We clearly has a major disaster in our hands and we need every support we could get from anyone in order to make the relief operations a success"

Meanwhile the Meteorological Department of Sri Lanka has forecast more rain in the next days in most parts of Sri Lanka.