Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: 2017 Monsoon Floods and Landslides - Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Flash Update No. 9 (12 June 2017)

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Situation Report
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Current warnings from the DMC and Meteorology Department advise of strong winds expected across the island for the next 24 hours, with some showers in flood and landslide affected areas. While average rainfall is beginning to decrease, landslide watch warnings remain in effect due to forecasted showers for areas in Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Kalutara, Matara, Hambantota and Nuwara Eliya districts.

As of 12 June (1200hrs, UTC+5:30), an estimated 575,000 people are affected in 13 districts. A total of 213 deaths have been confirmed and 77 people remain missing. Over 3,000 houses have been destroyed and 20,000 are partially damaged. The number of people in safe locations continues to decrease: about 8,000 people remain temporarily displaced in 110 safe locations compared to 14,600 on 8 June, and 72,000 people inside safe locations earlier last week.

Despite the rainfall in southwest districts, Sri Lanka’s Power and Energy Minister has warned that water levels in power-generating reservoirs remains low, and encouraged communities to use electricity sparingly. Almost 850,000 people remain affected by drought in Sri Lanka’s north and east, despite the heavy rains that have impacted upon the southwest.

As the monsoon situation stabilizes, many actors have begun to refocus on relief, recovery and reconstruction in affected areas. Initial estimates by the Government indicate that priority areas include the implementation of mitigation and prevention programmes, the reconstruction of housing, roads and schools, and the renovation of electricity and water networks.

The United Nations Development Programme has secured funding worth US$100,000 to conduct a Rapid Impact and Needs Assessment (RINA) together with the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs and a Comprehensive assessment of housing damages together with the Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Housing, National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) and UNHABITAT, as requested by the National Disaster Relief Services Centre. This assessment will expedite the compensation from natural disaster insurance scheme for housing damages for affected people. The result of the assessments are expected to further refine the Government’s plan for recovery in the short, medium and long term.

Tri-Forces continue their relief work with the Disaster Management Centre and local authorities supporting communities in affected districts. In Matara, Galle, Colombo, Kegalle and Ratnapura, Sri Lanka Army troops are cleaning polluted drinking water wells. In Matara, troops have a specific focus on providing ration packs, cleaning schools and restoring roads. Army mobile medical camps are also still operating in many affected areas.

Civil society continues to provide relief to affected communities through organized and coordinated responses online. Community-based organizations have been assisting government officials to address the needs of the affected communities. ZOA, an organization coordinating some of these responses, have reported that water and sanitation, food and shelter, education, livelihoods and psychosocial supports are some of the immediate concerns of the affected communities.

International assistance through funding or expert technical/in-kind support continues to be committed. To date, over 20 countries have provided assistance through funding or in-kind support. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently announced US$2 million in funding for immediate relief assistance and to help restore community services. Canada has committed US$442,080 which will be distributed through a number of local and international partners, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sri Lankan Red Cross. The US Navy ship USS Lake Erie has arrived in Colombo to support humanitarian assistance, with disaster relief/recovery experts and military aircraft to follow.

The UN Humanitarian Country Team An Emergency Response Plan has been launched by the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT). The Emergency Response Plan (ERP) outlines the support UN agencies and local and international NGOs are aiming to provide to the 374,000 most severely affected people in seven districts: Galle, Gampaha, Hambantota, Kalutara, Kegalle, Matara and Ratnapura.

As of 12 June, a total of 27 agencies are currently implementing health, protection, education, food security, WASH, emergency shelter and NFIs and early recovery activities in nine districts. Additionally, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated up to US$4 million to address the critical emergency shelter and non-food item, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and food security needs of 120,000 people in Galle, Matara, Kalutara and Ratnapura districts

For the updated Who does What Where (3W) map, please click this link

The next Flash Update will be issued on or around 15 June.

For more information, contact:

Alex Suwitra, Emergency Response Coordination Assistant, alex.suwitra@one.un.org