Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, Floods and Landslides: Post-Disaster Recovery Plan - May 2017

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1.1 Overview of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs) 2016 and 2017

In May 2016 and May 2017, Sri Lanka faced catastrophic floods and landslides that affected almost the entire country. The combined fatalities of the two events amounted to 317 persons. The estimated damages and losses from the floods and landslides in May 2016 were over LKR 90 billion and in the aftermath of the events in May 2017 it was estimated at LKR 70.2 billion. Nearly five million people were affected by the May 2016 events, while that of May 2017 exceeded 8 million people. Both events left close to 10,000 houses fully damaged, and over 100,000 partially damaged.

In response to these disaster events, the Government of Sri Lanka in partnership with the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union conducted a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), assessing both the effects and the recovery needs, across all affected sectors and districts. The assessments were conducted under the leadership of the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, building upon the initial and detailed sectoral damage assessments undertaken by central and local governments with support from development partners.

The PDNA 2016 included six most affected districts in the assessment: Anuradhapura,
Colombo, Gampaha, Kegalle, Puttalam, and Ratnapura. The Rapid Impact and Needs Assessment (RINA) conducted after the May 2017 floods and landslides as supplementary to the 2016 PDNA, covered five of the most affected districts of Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, and Ratnapura.

1) The 2016 PDNA document was endorsed by the Cabinet with a direction to develop the National Disaster Management Plan 2018-2023 as proposed and the Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management to submit the plan to the Department of National Planning for appraisal prior to seeking financial assistance for its implementation. The Cabinet paper also approved due consideration to a number of specific observations of the Minister of Finance, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development and Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, as follows:

2) To develop the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) including the comprehensive Action Programme for a five-year period covering 2018-23, considering the balance investment needed to implement projects identified in the Sri Lanka Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (SLCDMP). Such a plan would also take into account recommendations for medium- and long-term recovery needs outlined in the PDNA, recommendations to reduce drought risk, and requirements to achieve global targets outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and Sustainable Development Goals.

3) To request financial assistance from national and international donor agencies and donor countries to identify specific projects to be implemented in the programme.

4) To present the findings of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment with the cabinet ministers1 with the objective of seeking additional allocation towards housing relocation of landslide-affected people in Kegalle District and overall housing relocation programme in 10 landslide-prone districts in the country.

1.2 Recovery Needs

The total estimated recovery needs from the 2016 and 2017 disasters amount to LKR 257.4 billion. The highest recovery needs in both years are concentrated in the Housing, Land and Settlements sector, amounting to 88.1% and 68.7% for 2016 and 2017 respectively. The Infrastructure sector, consisting of Irrigation, Transport, Power Supply, and Water and Sanitation, amounts to 23.6% of the recovery needs in 2017. The Agriculture sector recovery needs in 2017 are also significant, amounting close to 4% of the total needs. Post-disaster recovery in 2016 was addressed with resources allocated during that same year and commitments related to housing compensation (for damage to houses and household assets) delivered in 2017. While there was not a formal recovery plan in 2016, within this present exercise already pertinent 2016 recovery strategies are considered. A detailed breakdown of the recovery needs of the 2016 and 2017 disasters is presented in Table 1.

Both the 2016 and 2017 floods and landslides demonstrated the urgency for mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) into development planning and implementation. The critical need for immediate and long-term measures to prevent the expansion of urban and rural settlements and economic activities in hazard-prone areas, which exacerbate the existing vulnerable conditions, is evident in all affected locations. Capacities of government Ministries and Departments at local, district and central levels should be strengthened to adequately carry out this mandate. Strengthening community capacities and resilience with awareness, knowledge, timely and functioning early warnings to the last mile, and access to required resources is a key requirement for priority attention.

1.3 Post-Disaster Recovery Plan and Recovery

Framework In view of the substantial damage, losses and related recovery needs from frequent disasters affecting the country, the Department of National Planning (NPD) under the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs requested the World Bank and UNDP to assist in the development of the Post-Disaster Recovery Plan (PDRP) and Recovery Framework. Accordingly, the process for developing the PDRP was initiated in September 2017 with a series of meetings and consultations as detailed in the section ‘Purpose of the PDRP.

Following the PDRP, it was decided that a National Recovery Framework will be formulated which will define the recovery considerations to review the respective sector and/or DM policy, the institutional arrangements and the implementation mechanisms applicable in all post-disaster recovery contexts.

The remaining sections of this document describe the various aspects of the Recovery Plan, including Vision, Objectives and Priorities, Policy Framework and Guidelines, Institutional and Implementation Arrangements, and Financing Needs and Gaps, along with dedicated chapters for Sectoral Recovery.